"The veins in the ginkgo leaf symbolize the will to survive that has been
repeatedly accumulated since the beginning of time."

A Maestro of Visual Harmony/ In the realm of artistic innovation, Buyong Hwang emerges as a distinguished figure, intertwining his rich history with a unique creative vision. At 28, Hwang was heralded as one of South Korea¡¯s top ten graphic designers, an accolade bestowed by a renowned art magazine after consulting with 50 university professors nationwide. His prowess was further acknowledged internationally when he clinched the second prize at the UNESCO-IAA organized International Poster Salon in Paris in 1987. This recognition underscored his burgeoning influence in Korean graphic design. Yet, in 2009, Hwang made a profound pivot, transitioning from a celebrated graphic designer to a full-time painter, ending a 33-year chapter in graphic design to embark on a new artistic journey. Hwang¡¯s transition to painting was not impulsive but a culmination of introspection and inspiration. In 1995, at an international design conference in Beijing, Colin Forbes¡¯s perspective on retirement and subsequent life stages triggered Hwang¡¯s contemplation about his future beyond graphic design. His decade-long spiritual quest in the early mornings at church crystallized his aspirations, leading him to embrace painting at 58. This shift was not merely a change in medium but a profound realignment of his creative ethos, choosing to explore new horizons in the vast landscape of art.

Buyong Hwang: Echoes of the Ginkgo/ The artistic style of Buyong Hwang is a captivating exploration of nature¡¯s intrinsic patterns and enduring themes. The ginkgo tree, with its unique blend of coniferous and broadleaf characteristics, serves as a central muse for Hwang. His fascination with the ginkgo isn¡¯t just botanical but deeply philosophical, reflecting on the tree¡¯s resilience and symbolic connection to the concepts of time and existence. Through his art, Hwang delves into the tree¡¯s ancient lineage, its survival through epochs, and its emblematic representation of longevity and resilience. This thematic focus on the ginkgo tree allows Hwang to intertwine his artistic expression with profound existential reflections, creating works that resonate with the timeless interplay of life and nature. Hwang¡¯s creative sanctuary is his home, a modest space where he contends with his artistic musings. Despite the limitations of a smaller studio, Hwang finds solace and inspiration in his surroundings, emphasizing the essence of introspection and individuality in the artistic process. His approach to painting, a solitary endeavor, is a testament to his belief that great art can emerge from any space, regardless of its size. This personal and intimate environment is where Hwang confronts and harnesses his creative energies, crafting pieces that are not only visually striking but deeply reflective of his inner world and the broader tapestry of human experience.

The Inspirational Luminaries Behind Buyong Hwang/ Buyong Hwang¡¯s artistic metamorphosis was profoundly influenced by iconic figures in the art world. The decision to pivot to painting was catalyzed by the life and works of Vincent Van Gogh, whose prolific output and enduring legacy left an indelible mark on Hwang. However, it was Georgia O¡¯Keefe¡¯s vibrant and sensual floral canvases that deeply resonated with him, inspiring him to infuse his paintings with a similar vitality and expressiveness. Hwang¡¯s artistic narrative took a new turn after encountering the works of Georg Baselitz, a pivotal figure whose thematic focus on ¡®Time¡¯ provided Hwang with a philosophical and thematic framework to explore his own concept of ¡®Resurrection¡¯. These artistic dialogues with past masters not only shaped Hwang¡¯s creative approach but also anchored his work in a rich historical and conceptual lineage, ofering a deeper understanding of his artistic evolution and the thematic undercurrents that permeate his oeuvre. Hwang¡¯s journey into painting is a testament to his belief in continual evolution and the pursuit of new artistic horizons. His transition was not just a shift in medium but a profound redefinition of his creative identity. This evolution is encapsulated in his transition from being known as a 'Healing Graphism artist' to a 'Resurrection artist', a change that signifies a deeper engagement with his personal beliefs and a commitment to exploring the themes of renewal and rebirth. Hwang¡¯s engagement with diferent artistic influences and his adaptive approach to his creative journey underscore his belief in the transformative power of art and the importance of remaining receptive to new ideas and inspirations.

Buyong Hwang: A Symphony of Color and Resilience/ In discussing a specific piece from his collection, Buyong Hwang reveals the depth and complexity of his artistic vision. His relief monochromatic paintings, particularly those inspired by the ginkgo leaf, embody a confluence of nature¡¯s elegance and the artist¡¯s interpretive lens. These works are not mere representations but dynamic explorations of form, texture, and symbolism, where the ginkgo leaf¡¯s veins become metaphors for resilience and continuity. The incorporation of acrylic coins introduces an additional layer of meaning, symbolizing the cyclical nature of struggle and triumph. This blend of natural inspiration and symbolic interpretation illustrates Hwang¡¯s ability to transform observations from the natural world into profound artistic expressions, imbued with personal significance and universal themes. Hwang¡¯s choice of medium is a deliberate aspect of his artistic practice, reflecting his exploratory nature and commitment to thematic depth. The transition from oil paintings and watercolors to relief monochromatic painting signifies his ongoing quest for expressive innovation. This technique, involving pencil sketches, jute string, plastic coins, and a meticulous layering of paint, exemplifies Hwang¡¯s hands-on approach and his desire to infuse each piece with a tangible sense of texture and depth. This methodological evolution underscores Hwang¡¯s dedication to artistic growth and his unwavering pursuit of a unique visual language that encapsulates his thematic focus on resurrection and the enduring interplay between nature and human experience. Through these explorations, Hwang not only showcases his technical versatility but also reafrms his commitment to an artistry that is continually evolving, deeply reflective, and resonant with the rhythms of nature and life itself.

Hajra Salinas
Editor in Chief of ATTONAU!
May 6, 2024

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