On-Kyeong Seong: Embedment

February 5 - March 1, 2020
Opening Reception: Friday, February 7, 2020, 5:00-8:00 pm
Cupcakes & Conversation with the Artists: Saturday, February 29, 2020, 3:00-5:00 pm, Artists' Talks at 3:30 pm

  • On-Kyeong Seong

    Purple Stripes, stitching, mixed media and oil, 72 x 48 inches, 2017-19.

    Purple Stripes
  • On-Kyeong Seong

    Section, stitching, mixed media and oil, 48 x 36 inches, 2012-19.

  • On-Kyeong Seong

    Everything turns around it, stitching, mixed media and oil, 48 x 34 inches, 2017-19.

    Everything turns around it
  • On-Kyeong Seong

    Lustrous night out I, stitching, mixed media and oil, 28 x 22 inches, 2018-19.

    Lustrous night out I
  • On-Kyeong Seong

    Haneul, stitching, mixed media and oil, 28 x 22 inches, 2018-19.

  • On-Kyeong Seong

    Yellow and Purple, stitching, mixed media and oil, 22 x 28 inches, 2019.

    Yellow and Purple
  • On-Kyeong Seong

    Growing vase, stitching, mixed media and oil, 28 x 22 inches, 2017-19.

  • On-Kyeong Seong

    Green Yellow and Purple, stitching, mixed media and oil, 22 x 28 inches, 2019.

    Green Yellow and Purple
  • On-Kyeong Seong

    Into this garden, stitching, mixed media and oil, 28 x 22 inches, 2018.

    Into this garden

Artist Page
Press Release
Goslow, Brian. "Capsule Previews: January/Febrary 2020." Artscope Magazine, January/February 2020, p65.
"A Discussion with Artists On-Kyeong Seong and Vaughn Sills." Kingston Blog, February 5, 2020.
View online show on Artsy

Artist Statement

This exhibition represents a body of work created over the last three years, but the germination began more than eight years ago upon the passing of my father from cancer. I had become familiar with the strange, but beautiful, cells that formed his illness and I could not erase them from my memory.

The paintings speak to multiple sources and issues: cell biology, pathology, human-made environmental degradation, and genetically modified organisms. I'm fascinated by the ways in which our natural state is adversely affected by artificial influence. These works represent my visualizations of these manipulated biomorphic formations.

My approach to the canvas, pushing the painted work through the sewing machine, is an exploration of the emotional and sensory experiences in my practice. I had little experience with sewing, but I found it to be a subtle metaphor for the punctuations we artificially insert and assert into our natural state. The process of stitching also builds tension onto the canvas, and it puts on full display the deliberate labor of sewing, juxtaposed with the incidental abstraction of the painting.

I was also influenced by the De Stijl art movement and Supremacist composition. This is evident in the geometric structures found in many of the backgrounds. From those fundamental geometries, the organisms take root and appear to both intertwine and disrupt. The process of reading the paintings is multifaceted and multilayered. My intention is that upon each gaze, a sense of discord must be reconciled.

Abstract painting remains at the core of my practice. The way my hand and the paint brush flow onto the canvas are organic movements. The feeling is innate and flowing. When I added the sewing machine, I was eager to explore how the human-made, or the artificial, alter and influence the organism. I literally push the painted canvas through the machine, a process that is difficult to control. The needles often break; it is anything but freestyle. I paint, sew, paint, sew, on repeat for about 10 cycles. A work can sometimes take more than a year to complete.

I titled the exhibition Embedment, defined as the act of setting something permanently within something else. I am interested in the concept of human intervention, on a universal level all the way to the cellular. When I stitch onto the canvas, it is my way of connecting the natural systems of our world with the artificial structures of our lives.

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