FRIDA KAHLO: LOVE & TRAGEDY (English Essay)




Ewho Gallery, Seoul, South Korea Presents Global Art Project (Indonesia & Korea)
“FRIDA KAHLO: LOVE & TRAGEDY”
Seruni Bodjawati and Higi Jung
Essay by Seruni Bodjawati

Man is a mystery. Although his physical action can be read, but the motion of his soul is unpredictable where it leads. Inside a human's mind, there are endless possibilities. If a human is being compared to universe, he is like a small cosmos and the universe is like a big cosmos. Remarkably, the big cosmos can be stored in a small cosmos. The human mind itself can be smaller than a grain of sand and when it is deployed, it can be wider than the universe. Yes, man is a great mystery, for himself or for others.
Higi Jung tried to interpret the figure of Frida Kahlo with the sharpness point of view that is left loose. Excerpts meaning embodied in the works of photography. Her artistic presentation technique is unique. She presents a psychological analysis as an expression of short poems. It is fresh with surprises that are igniting enlightenment. The shortness of expression precisely impresses the longevity of distraction power in creativity that is difficult to be measured. Frida’s existence as a source of inspiration is described as eternal riddle. Man is a big question mark. His imperfection becomes the falsification of his wholeness. The secret of the noise is located on the edge of silence. The maturity is within the simplicity reflexion. Photographic works of Higi Jung become an unexpected appeal precisely because its expression is very close to everyday reality. Similar wonders to the heartbeat. It is fused in the body until it has palpable presence.
Higi Jung was born in Uncheon, Kunggi-do, on December 5, 1986. She ever stayed in Moscow, Russia, in 1991-1993. Until now she is living in Seoul, South Korea. In 2009 she graduated from Chung-Ang University in creative writing and photography. Getting to know Frida Kahlo at the age of 17 through the film titled Frida. Her curiosity with the Mexican legend was made her continuously hunting information via internet and books. Finally, the figure of Frida is used as a source of ideas for work, especially in photography.
Frida Kahlo is known in the art world because of her life history was full of colour and wave. She was born on July 6, 1907 and died on July 13, 1954. Living amid the roar of the Mexican revolution made her experienced tragic events. A great traffic accident made her suffering pains for life. Her marriage with a muralist, Diego Rivera, was widening inner wounds as well as boosting her creativity. Her affair with a communist leader, Trotsky, became a glamorous myth. Her attitude was reckless, with the lion guts, banging on the walls of the establishment. In short, her life story is as important to talk about as the awesomeness of her artworks. Recorded Frida made ​​143 paintings, 55 of which are self-portraits which often incorporate symbolic depiction of the physical and psychological wounds. She insisted, "I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.”



Equally fascinated by Frida Kahlo, I agreed to collaborate with Higi Jung in the project Frida Kahlo: Love & Tragedy, supported by Ewho Gallery, Seoul, South Korea. Since high school, starting when I was 15 years old, I have created dozens of paintings with the main object of Frida Kahlo figure. Working together with Higi Jung would certainly be an important record for both our artistic journeys.
There are seven pieces of my paintings I created in this art project. Five pieces sized 200 x 145 cm; A Couple of Rebels, Glimpses of Morning Star, Children of Heaven, The Legend Vanished in Memories and The Silent World of Frida. Two others are Conquering the World sized 200 x 300 cm and Opera Pablo Pickahlo sized 250 x 200 cm. The media of all my artworks are acrylic on canvases. My inclination is to tell by the winged language. I see the figure of Frida Kahlo in my artworks as an existence plagued with gloom fate. Full of problems, rebelling to grey fate, continuously searching for herself holding a twist of death on her back. As human with multidimensional characters, the figure is hammered with a big question mark that will never go over answered. I also idealize it by intentionally increasing the volume of humanity. In order for the dramatic aspects that were created can be sticking sharper. Decorative technique is quite dominating the whole field of the canvases. Surrealistic atmosphere is spreading in the stern expression. The power of colours is slightly muted to strengthen the suggestive power and fantasy games.
By featuring the clarity of mind, Higi Jung created ​​eight photographic works. Two of them are self-portraits. Four of them were shot with a model of South Korean actress, Jaehwa Kim, her own cousin. And two works were shot with a model of a Javanese woman, Darajati Pertiwi. She shot the six works in South Korea. Two works titled Women F # 5 Pink Tears and Women F#6 Connivance were created in Indonesia when she was visiting Yogyakarta. In the series of Women F, summarized eight works titled Spring Fever, Do not be Afraid, Summer House, Ponds in the Forest, On the Carpet with Tiny Ducks, Pink Tears, Connivance, and Gaze. Thick eyebrows that characterize Frida Kahlo character are imposed on the face of the model to build a new character. It is an affirmation of the view that women are strong, independent and having unbeatable freedom. This is a maturation of culture that tends to push the perception that women should be gentle and pure.
At last, my collaboration with Higi Jung will be a silent dialogue that will never end. From two different and far places we look toward a same point. Although the direction of our view is the same but our minds are wandering into the wilderness that much different. Indeed, a friendship becomes beautiful when each person is left to be himself to the fullest.

Yogyakarta, 23 October 2012