In his paintings, KwangHo Shin attempts to capture the complex relationship between the expression of emotion and the experience of the mind. With roots in Abstract Expressionism, he employs intense and vibrant oils juxtaposed with charcoal to distort the facial features of his subjects and confront them psychologically.
The artist deliberately refuses the depiction of precise form and proportion in an effort to transcend conventional representation and in turn confronts a more visceral type of portraiture. Faces are deconstructed but retain the power of expression as the artist reimagines them in a patchwork of carefully yet energetically applied strokes of color. Shin’s paintings convey the inner psychological processes of his subjects but also remind the viewer of the artist’s presence. “The fear of the blank canvas is dissolved as the colors take shape and are formed on the picture plane…. This moment is the process of bringing out something from the Artist’s inner spirit – it is the climax of the creative energy,” states writer Yu MyeongJin.
KwangHo Shin was born in 1983 in Seoul, South Korea. He graduated from the Keimyung University, Daegu Korea in 2009 with a BFA and has since been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions including Goethe Institute Korea Gallery, Berlin (2011); Gallery Jung, Seoul (2013); ArtRaum Berlin Galerie, Berlin (2013); Bien Gallery, Seoul (2013). Shin has been featured as “One to Watch”, a distinction awarded by the Saatchi Gallery to promising emerging artists.
At the same time beautiful and menacing, the visual style of Shin’s paintings allows viewers to project their own faces onto them, creating a special bond between the observer and the artwork. Sacrificing detail for substance, KwangHo Shin purposely disguises the facial features of the subject in order to transpose the intricacy and complexity of human emotions.
The artist notes that he uses the individual subject to attain a sense of people more than the person, in such way that he removes personal, facial features and creates an anonymous identity of a portrayed subject. The form that often pops through dense globs and heavy streaks of paint are his subject’s captivating, expressive eyes. In a process of making, KwangHo Shin sketches by using charcoal or paint before applying the whole color on, or sometimes directly applies the heavy colors without any sketches.
Since his debut in 2009, KwangHo Shin’s work has been featured in many group and one-man exhibitions at various art venues, galleries and museums, including at the Goethe Institute, Korea Gallery, in Berlin; Daegu Art Square Studio; Gallery Jung, Seoul; ArtRaum Berlin Galerie, Berlin; Jungsoo Gallery, Seoul; Bien Gallery, Seoul, and UNIX Gallery in New York.