Letitia Hill, Dansaekhwa Series I, 2021
Letitia Hill, Dansaekhwa Series I, 2021

Oil, beeswax on hessian, 123 x 123 cm (48 x 48 in.) ©LETITIA HILL, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Letitia Hill, Dansaekhwa Series I, 2021
Letitia Hill, Dansaekhwa Series I, 2021

Oil, beeswax on hessian, 123 x 123 cm (48 x 48 in.) ©LETITIA HILL, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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DANSAEKHWA SERIES

Technical details

ORIGINAL TITLE:

DANSAEKHWA SERIES

REGISTRATION NUMBER:

DS0130-DS0138

ARTIST:

LETITIA HILL

DATE CREATED:

2021

OBJECT TYPE:

Painting, Textile

MEDIA:

Oil, beeswax on hessian

DIMENSIONS:

123 x 123 cm (48 x 48 in.)

COPYRIGHT:

©LETITIA HILL, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

DANSAEKHWA SERIES

The Dansaekhwa Series are abstract paintings of neutral hues and minimal aesthetic emerging from South Korea during the mid-1960s. Two South Korean artists, Park Seo-bo and Ha Chong-Hung lived through the Japanese occupation and decolonisation period of 1910-1945, which contributed to the county's division in 1946—followed by the Korean War (1950-1953) and the authoritarian rule of President Park Chung-hee (1961-1979). The access to resources and materials was limited, and their movements were restricted. They internalised this experience through questioning paint's materiality, its relationship to the canvas and the traditional methods of applying paint to canvas with a philosophical focus on the “artist’s consciousness and the act of making.” (Herman, 2015). Dansaekhwa rejected the figurative propaganda prominent in the authoritarian political climate of Korea. However, this abstract movement eventually became appropriated by the government and used as a beacon of modern cultural propaganda.

 

The authors of this non-manifesto movement recently have experienced a resurgence in the international art market. (Herman, 2015). A contemporary interpretation of the Dansaekhwa process explores the use of hessian material made from sisal fibres (generally used for potato or gunny sacks) as the canvas and applying a mixture of oil paint and beeswax to form a dense paste. The paint is pushed through the weft and warp of the canvas from the back of the canvas creating impasto filaments of paint on the front side, then manipulating the filaments into a texture of line and form with various sized combs.


The process visually simulates the Moebius framing of ritual theory. Moebius's framing of a ritual refers to “a single frame which is both external and internal, outside and inside to itself.” (Rosen, 1994) It twists upon itself so that the inside is in continual relationship with its outside, front and back within its rigid frame, maintaining its existence. (Handelman, 2004) Creating a polymorphic methodology contained within itself, abstraction from all sides. The meditative ritual of the process highlights the infinite complexity and nuance available in the abstract monochrome format of the Dansaekhwa and the framing of the ritual. (Bateson, 1972; Handleman, 2004)