Han, Young-Wook
Critique
Han Young Wook creates portraits of anonymous figures by scratching aluminum panels with needles and painting oil paint on top of the scratched surface. The particular medium allows the artist to intricately carve aluminum panel and create a hyper-realistic texture of fine wrinkles, hair, and eyes filled with life that cannot be reached with canvas and paint. Han strides to bring the subject into life by making thin and thick scratches on the aluminum with different kinds of tools and painting into the crevices for depth. When the light hits the crevices, the aluminum reflects light that delivers a remarkable experience to the viewers, creating an illusion that the painting is three-dimensional or almost like a sculpture. The glistening surface of the aluminum panel, especially on the eyes of the subject, creates a dramatic mood that instantly pulls the viewer into the painting. Just like the quote “eyes are the window to the soul”, Han’s painting allows the viewers to imagine the life story and emotion of the people carved on the panel.