solo exhibition at COSAR HMT 07 June 2013
[ review ]
Artist Eva Eun-Sil Han's work of poetry and geometry goes for a visceral response
By Lennie Bennett, Times Art Critic
Eva Eun-Sil Han definitely has both sides of her brain engaged. "Measured Emotions," an exhibition of her work at C. Emerson Fine Arts, has poetry and geometry at work. The artist collages photographs, her own and others, often drawing and painting onto the paper. Many of them seem purely abstract and in most, the assemblage of images is in such bits and pieces they don't seem meant to be discerned specifically. But Han is going for a visceral response from us (that's the "Emotion" part of the show's title), whether it's a response to the cut-and-paste drama of her constructions or the provocative glimpses of recognizable body parts. She doesn't give us any hints since all are untitled.
I got references ranging from the fracturing employed by pop artist James Rosenquist to Un chien andalou, the 1929 surrealist film by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali. But mainly, I got juxtapositions that combine a reactive image — a sexual tangle of legs or hair, a pair of terrified eyes repeated three times, for example — interrupted by Han's carefully cut prisms and circles. The thought of a blade sharp enough for such precision adds another reaction (and again recalls the sliced eyeball scene from Un chien andalou).
There are meditative works here, too. A vintage photograph of a European cathedral is superimposed with angular bits of color shaped into a large tondo, like a stained glass window. A shedding pomegranate tree and the red shards that surround it suggest the fruit's varied symbolic meanings, especially its Christian association with suffering and sacrifice.
But those are my perceptions. This is a show that functions as a Rorshach test for viewers, asking us to look intuitively and analytically for our own individual meanings.