Artist Statement
Layers & Layers by Jung Hur


My paintings are the result of many layers of painting, but these layers are not simply applied for visual density. Instead, the layering process contains and conveys conceptual content about systems complexity, the impossibility of objectivity, shifting subjectivity and the processes related to the visual experience of an object or place - in particular, the visual experience of a work of art made by an artist whose subject is the mixed subjectivity of artist and viewer.

I use my own pair of symbols based on an antique keyhole. The keyhole implies layers of perception and difference that are fundamental to the human visual experience. When we look at a painting, for example, we are typically in one place looking into another. The surface of the painting is like a door or a window - a conceptual lens through which our vision passes. Paintings echo this perceptual process with visual layers. Painters build on the effects of this process by working in layers. I don’t just use this process as an effect, it is key part of the content of my work.

My complementary pair of keyhole and key shapes are similar to the yin-yang symbol in some ways, but they push past binary logic into ideas about perspective. The key turns like yin-yang, but the system is a machine that can open into another place, or, sometimes in the case of art, act like a lens. The keyhole marks layers between the viewer and space into which he is looking.

My paintings are complex, but I think my use of strategic systems makes them easy to see. Because of this, the paintings always come into focus in the end - a quality emphasized by the lens symbols.

The paintings in Layers & Layers are energetic. I want the viewer to sense the dynamism of the forms. They may look, at first, like binary things - figure/ground or positive/negative - but the symbols move back and forth between being symbolic forms and the visual forms of abstract painting. My paintings might sound complicated, but they are easier to see than describe. I think they explain themselves better than I can.

Jung Hur
February 2017
Portland, Maine