The Combination of High-technology Computer&Abstract Aesthetics
Gwanho Yoo draws computer-aided pictures. The computer he uses is Paint Box HD. the most advanced system of its kind which Quantel of England has developed specially for the expression of visual sensations. This fabulously expensive system is unavailable in Korea. so Gwanho Yoo has to visit Japan several times a year. Even Japan maintains only a few of these computers of ultra-high capacity and function. but Gwanho Yoo's personal relationship with his japanese friends has had the good luck to make free use of the system. This kind of good luck. however, has been brought to him by the artist's own fervor to revolutionize visual art through computers. and Panit Box has apparently responded to his passion and love of art with reliable solutions. The technical renovation. such as representation of the desired colors and tints. the flowingly good-sized pictures. and the printing not on papers but on iron sheets and acrylic plates. is by itself more than enough to attract the attention of those concerned. More important. however, is the perspective in which conputers can be used and the artistic appraisal of the results
Young artists' attempts to use a computer as a tool of creation has recently begun to attract our notice. The personal computers' popularity and the remarkable development of their graphic functions have started to change the mode of our visual perception and thinking. Computers expand not only the range of our sensation. but also our view of the universe. They supply us with the picture-form information about the microcircuit-to-macroengineering world. and further suggest that a limitless variety of models and images can be achieved by managing the input of information. Computers also provide us with a new visual environment to create imaginative reality by combining computer simulation. closeup. ellipses, and perspective representation with electronic collage. dynamics. transformation. etc. They also create fantastic space by moving ordinary or suggestive things into an unexpected environment by applying physical laws unknown to Newton or Einstein. What is more marvelous is that the function of computer-image engine exemplifies the modern theory of fractal geometry in that the image developing process imitates biological process and hereditary development. In other words. the mode in which color. contour . and the spacial pattern of shape multiply through the simple spark of mathematical connection in the computer environment occurs like spontaneous combustion within the realm of electronic ecology.
The function of a computer have so much potential capacity as to attract our attention in the fields of fine art as well as applied art. A lot of experimental artists have deep interest in the creative use of the computer and are exploring its possibilities. This is also ascribed to the fact that computers have come on the stage as the lion of the day to contro the visual world of the future. Naturally computer graphics. computer animation, or computer installation have started to enter into the category of what is called technological art
There are still many problems to be solved, however. for computer art to be established as a true form of art. The biggest of them is the question of whether artists will be able to continually adapt to the extreme pace of advances in computer technology so that the computer becomes a true medium for their artistic expression, keeping the identity of the fine arts distinctly separate from today's utilitarian computer-aided design(CAD). However, in the situation where the tool itself is being so quickly changed. artists are likely to lose the peace of mind needed to build up their own artistic world. Therefore. there is every likelihood that their art may be reduced to a mere exhibition of the most trendy computer techniques camouflaging a diminished art philosophy. or may cling to the old stereotyped expressions and outmoded techniques of conventional art forms which are now beginning to suffer form public indifference. Therefore. artists who wish to make use of the computer as a tool cannot avoid the pressure of constantantly renewing their techniques to satisfy the demands of the artistic public. In this sense. they have more burden than traditional artists.
Another problem for computer art is closely related to the unrestricted copying capacity of the computers . Given that it is possible not only to produce and infinite number of exact copies of a work of art. but also tho duplicate the programmed diskettes unlimitedly. how can the integrity and aura of the fine arts be sustained? Furthermore, since artful plagiarisms can be produced by modifying part of the program stored in the original diskette or by rearranging its component parts. ot would be almost impossible to prevent plagiarism. In order to resolve this dilemma some artists try to expand the boundary of fine art by capabilities of computers to create safeguards. while others simply dismiss such problems by taking a conceptual artist's view. To incorporate computer art in the established stream of fine art some others number their computer art as is done with traditional woodcuts or destroy their working diskettes in public. It is apparent that potential computer art plagiarism adds one more difficulty to the overall chaos of postmodernism which awaits a systematic review and interpretation.
Gwanho Yoo has spent a lot of time wrestling with dilemmas like the ones mentioned above, After being struck by the fantastic potential of the Paint Box HD. he devoted five years to mastering its operations and studying its possibilities. Now he is no longer constrained by unfamiliarity with the computer. but has come to handle it as just another too at his disposal. This means that he accepts the computer as another means to express more effectively what has intrigued him since ling before he accepted the challenge of the Paint Box HD, that is his own thoughts and views on art.
Despite his natural gift as a tenor singer. Mr. Yoo abandoned his job as a musician : instead he decided to ne a designer. However, his incessant hunger for "the unexplored" and his fantasy toward the Muse has made it possible for his drawings to retain the quality of music. Mr. Yoo has developed a sense of choosing the right color and shape through his long experience in design work. He has also developed the skill of using a "modern" computer. In this respect, he is considered to be an excellent computer artist. Just as Kandinsky found his aesthetic identity in Schoenberg. Mr. Yoo considers that the incessant expansion of colors through the use of Paint Box HD is comparable to Schoenberg's conception of the 12 musical scales. Although the canvas is fixed. Mr. Yoo' colors shed lights so wavelike that they represent music. Also his combination of dynamic drawings. which reminds us of caligraphy. makes his canvas seem to be more rhythmical. Van Gogh's expressionistic touch of brush. Kandinsky's abstractionism. ans Klee's musical drawings have all influenced Mr. Yoo in tis aesthetic line. Now his paintings show the postmodern complexities of art though printing on metal. rearrangement of canvas. addition of geometric structure, and many other new devices.
Mr. Yoo's working process begins with partial drawing through the general esquisse. What is sometimes Misunderstood is that Mr Yoo's painting does result directly from the computer process : instead. he begins with drawing many pictures and combines them through the scanning process before he inputs them into a computer. He obtains the motif of his paintings mainly from korean folk painting, but it leads to the final shape of chorus of seemingly dancing lines through the dynamic process of abstraction. And this accomplished canvas is transplanted into film to be printed directly on stainless steel, or passed through another computer synthesis process before it is printed. Mr. Yoo also rearranges the carious pictures printed on the stainless steel by adding protruding stainless steel structure of geometric shape, The computer printing on the stainless steel is dene by a very advanced method of instant high temperature imprinting of specific dyes. This process eliminates the so-called "screen dots" which are regarded as both an unique characteristic and a limitaion of digital imagery. This occurs because the dyes resolve the screen dots point by being instantly mixed at high temperatures.
Now Gwanho Yoo is a pioneer, who has successively combined the high technology and traditional fine arts. He does not give in to the computer : rather he conquers it to embody his solid and aesthetic sensitivity. He works with high- technology computer. But he is the master of the computer. not its servant. He draws pictures with the computer in the manner of singing or composing as of he pour out his musical enthusiasm into colors , shape, and spaces. Also, by adding the last touch of hand-brushing, he blocks the illegal copying and keeps the aura of the fine art. Moreover. the manual work of adding the stainless steel frame shows his interest in, and openness with the abstract form in the sense that Mr. Yoo combines in his computer graphics abstract signs of geometry on the expressionistic canvas of abstraction. Accordingly. Mr Yoo still remains a traditional abstractionist, although he works with a high- technology computer.
Now Mr. Yoo desires the direct combination of music and fine art. This will be done with the help of his cherished computer by creating a kind of performance art. We look forward to his final artistic accomplishment, which will show the total space of combining music performance and computer animation. Mr. Yoo's sincere pursuit and consistent expression of aesthetic sense will thrust him into the mainstream of contemporart art, which has regretfully been threatened by pseudocomputer artists'lack of philosophy blind imitation and meaningless noise.