Artist: Da In
The gorgeously vivid work of Korean-born painter and designer Da-In has been making waves on both the Korean art-scene and in more international circles. This is not surprising; the immediate appeal of her striking work is backed-up with real depth in its themes and imagery.
If you’ve so much as dipped your toe in the Seoul contemporary art scene, there’s a good chance you’ll have seen work of Da-In. The super prolific artist has her work peppered throughout various projects and in all kinds of places. She has already had 4 solo shows, been a part of countless group shows and has contributed art-work for a huge array of projects including album art, club nights, concert posters, and even fashion lines.
One particularly impressive thing about the artwork here is how well Da In is able to translate her iconic style to different forms and objects. Da In’s vibrant creativity has adorned a huge variety of things from flags, bags, boats, postcards, sculpture and of course canvas paintings. As if that wasn’t enough, the inventive artist has also worked in the field of installation, murals, tattoo design and even more.
There’re many themes running through the work of Da-In but one subject remains a constant in her art; indigenous cultures. Her work is heavily influenced by the folk traditions of different countries that the artist has visited. Through her art, Da-In tries to immerse herself in the mythology of bygone civilizations. Yet, while the ideology of her work might place retrocentrism as the central paradigm, her work feels fresh and new. There’s something very contemporary about her work that emanates both from the context in which the art is created and the nature of it’s execution. It’s this interesting juxtaposition, a clash of contexts, which give her work that extra depth.
Another interesting conflict that’s prevalent in the work of Da-In is a clash between simplicity and complexity. In an effort to align her work with a pre-modern era aesthetic, Da In uses simple seeming motifs with bright block colours and basic, well defined-shapes. Yet it would be criminal to accuse this work of being “simple” or “basic” To do that would be to ignore certain clear qualities her work has. For one, the elaborate nature of some of her large-scale work is spellbinding. Her murals and and some of her paintings are tapestry-esque in their intricacies. Her work is also incredibly well textured, expertly mixing her bight block colours with a more interesting shading.
The flamboyant, tropical colours compliment the themes that she incorporates to create a real sense of exoticism in Da In’s work. Her paintings often depict nature in the form of animals and landscapes from outside her home country. The people in her images are often from African or South American tribal cultures and often have a modern twist. Despite her enthusiasm for exotic cultures, Da In says that her the folklore and mythology of her home country is a huge influence on her work.
The pursuit of exoticism is not only limited to tropical cultures of yesteryear in Da In’s art. In fact, often her work doesn’t depict beasts that even exist on this planet but are taken from her own imagination. Her work often features fantastical, surrealist creatures refracted through Da In’s trademark visual style. These striking images lie somewhere between psychedelic painting and the Africa-inspired work of Cezanne.
It’s important to say that this article doesn’t even do the artist’s output real justice. Her seemingly limitless prolificity has her producing work that even defies her own artistic MO. Yet, while the sheer volume of her work can make her difficult to write about, the rich beauty and varied ethos at play here make her an absolute joy to be aware of. For this reason, we cannot recommend enough that you check out one of zillion projects.
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