Saturday, July 30, 2011

"What Human Is..." by Sada

Image posted with the permission of the artist. More about Sada (Hyun Mi Park) and her expressive, imaginative works can be viewed at her website and Etsy store.

As I look at this image, I can practically feel the chisel against the wood block, carving away all except the contour lines of the universal figure. A woodcut that really looks like a woodcut.

Though seemingly primitive, there is something profoundly artful about how much expressive gesture is captured by so few lines. The figure almost seems to smile, head cocked coyly and he/she gazes toward the viewer. The arm and fingers on one side seem to wiggle while the other pulls down, fingers flared out. One hip juts out, putting all weight on the other side. The stem or string which connects the pair of leaves to what seems to be an opening in the figure's chest bows slightly, giving just enough slack to imply buoyancy.

The use of offset, earthy-red color (it almost seems a puddle of blood around the opening of the chest) and expressive mark-making remind me a bit of the woodcuts of German expressionist Ernst Kirchner.

The image is playful and strange. It is the sort of image that grabs my attention right away, then leaves me to ponder the unfinished sentence that is its title. The sort of image that causes me to notice being in my own skin and feel sometimes a comforting, and sometimes disconcerting connection to the larger human family, and the even larger family of all living things. It is the same response I have to many works of art found in museums of archeology and anthropology, created by a variety of indigenous peoples from many time and places around the world. In the moments I look at this image, I am fully aware of being both large and small.


  1. wow...I'm so impressive. Thank you so much. No one ever did this.Thanks for your care about my work and sharing.It gives me much energy to carry on. All the Best Martha. And again,Thank you,truly. :)


  2. *impressive->impressed.(sorry):-)