Since 2011, the Compagnie Française de l'Orient et de la Chine has regularly hosted exhibitions of artists, designers and photographers on the two floors of the CFOC's historical concept store in Paris, at number 170 boulevard Haussmann. Conceived in collaboration with Emerige, this second exhibition (the previous one was dedicated in 2016 to the Chinese photographer Zeng Nian) is dedicated to the abstract landscapes of Jihee Han, a young South Korean painter. Jihee Han's works of poetry call for inner travel and meditation. At the crossroads of abstraction and figuration, his work allows him to distance himself from representations, to eliminate the superfluous in order to "leave space to space" *. Without further explanation, the artist imposes the delicacy of his works. For her exhibition at the CFOC from Thursday April 27th, Jihee Han has made new paintings by renewing their format by using the triptych and the diptych. These works, which ignore any object or character, establish a conversation with the objects of the Haussmann Boulevard boutique and become a new source of reflection for the artist. For her, it is a question of obtaining a new rhythm between her painting and space through the search for harmony with this unique environment. Ileana Cornea, historian, art critic and Artension editor.
Jihee Han was born in 1985 in Busan, South Korea. After graduating from Kookmin University in Seoul, she completed her master's degree at the Sorbonne in Paris between 2014 and 2016. Since her arrival in France in 2010, she has participated in several group exhibitions in Paris, including Jeune Création at the Centquatre and at the gallery La Capitale. The Kookmin Art Gallery in Seoul and the Galerie89 in Paris dedicate a personal exhibition to him. In December 2016, the Vincent Lecuyer gallery presents the "Paysages Abstraits" series in the heart of the 7th arrondissement.
Between pictorial journey and exploration of water states, Jihee Han's works lie between the figuration of natural landscape and abstraction. A calm sea, a suspended iceberg, snow-covered mountains or waterfalls cohabit with the brushstrokes and plunge us into a soothing calm suspended in time. The young Korean artist takes us from the altitude 0 of the ocean to the clouds that reach the mountain peaks. This climb from the liquid state to the solid state is also a spiritual quest mixing the duality of Ying and Yang. Solidity and rigidity, black and white, empty and full, are contradictions by which the painter seeks to marry the mind and the body. "The hardest thing to paint is the spiritual that becomes materiality," she tells us when she defines her "abstract landscapes. Jihee Han masters to perfection the lightness of the features that translate the movement of the elements. The artist's presence and spontaneous gesture are palpable and gradually give way to compositions that soothe our senses. A rock or an ice floe detach themselves from the composition, then carried in a dazzling way by the emptiness left by the artist. The power of suggestion created by the white allows our mind to free itself, to travel and to explore these lands close to abstraction in which man is outdated and dispossessed. If Jihee Han's chromatic palette seems limited at first glance, it is nevertheless an adventure of colours, tones, from blue to grey, which leaves us time to breathe and dream. Meditation is indeed the starting point of all Jihee Han's work, which begins by making the void before stretching his canvas on the frame. No preliminary sketch, but a mental image is formed from his travel memories and his daily life.Like the light works of Turner or the water lilies of Monet, the forms of nature of these paintings disappear in the confusion of perception.