Song Jaeho paints abstract landscapes where vibrant colors float within darker, layered tones, with equal emphasis placed on the background of the work as the subject. “By expressing the subject in a restrained manner, the background becomes a crucial part of the painting,” he says. “The forms and lines of the foreground float within their setting, rather than overtake the whole field of vision, revealing a different sense of depth.” Song creates these landscapes by exploring a personal space between memory and imagination. “Daily encounters, such as a song, a book, or a walk, create a new imaginary space as my senses and emotions intervene. I paint these memories as if they are scenes viewed through a window, where I become the spectator,” he says. “In this sense, my process of painting can be understood as learning from form to lean towards the formless.”
Song began painting in 2009, having gained an interest in the arts at a young age from his older brothers, who studied painting and music, and sometimes invited him to work in their studios. He studied painting at Hongik University College of Art in Seoul, and currently lives and works in Gyeonggi-do. His work has been exhibited in Seoul, Paju, Jeju Island, and Gangwon-do.
Song’s paintings, composed over the past decade, make use of a range of materials, including gouaches, acrylics and oil. The works deal in various subjects – a sculpture he encountered in a store, the interior of a Japanese coffee shop, the silhouette of a mountain glimpsed while driving through a tunnel, his studio during winter. “The tension between tangible motifs and abstract backgrounds creates an ambiguous landscape full of possibilities,” he says.