Learning from trees how to walk

A journey into the joyful world of the painter Duri Baek.

According to Duri Baek, this is a glimpse of the first impression that one will have to see their artwork. The use of green and yellow colors and confident brushstrokes create inner peace, far away from the chaotic sounds of the cities. In his book “La Nazione delle piante,” Stefano Mancuso explains how they are complex root systems, building in a modular way. This means that the single modules repeat themselves infinitely to form increasingly vast and complex structures that have no fundamental center. A root system, therefore, is made up of an astronomical number of root tips – there can be hundreds of billions in a tree – which, spreading out in the soil and exploring in search of the nutrients and water the plant needs, form a network so complex that it rivals the structural complexity of our neural networks. In this system, functions are distributed everywhere. Thus, roots, lacking areas specialized in fundamental functions, can easily survive extensive damage affecting most of the root network. It is, therefore, fascinating to realize that even the architecture of a tree’s crown, despite each species being different from the other, follows the same rules of diffusion and repetition of similar modules.

The more green shadows get deeper as you enter the lush forest. Even in a valley dark enough to be black, the tree moves from under the rocks toward the light. The valley of the valley is where the leaves are twisted and formed a deep shadow. On the rocks that are broken in different directions, trees leave deep marks that they ran toward the light

Baek Duri Image Courtesy of WOAW Gallery and Duri Baek

Some of the artworks of the Duri Baek are still visible until the 1st of June at the WOAW Gallery in the group exhibition “A Quiet Room, A Place In Your Heart,” an exploration of the intimate spaces that hold significance in our lives, whether they are real, materialized from memory, or imagined. In this exhibition, the Korean artist explores the coexistence of elements with opposite qualities. It is in this inlet that Duri Baek’s work is situated, leveraging the word sensitivity, which is understood as the ability to perceive something or the ability to analyze and judge quickly and impeccably. The importance of the light-shadow contrast becomes the common thread that binds and characterizes the artist’s poetics, manifesting in the acceptance of pain as an inescapable and essential part of the condition of living beings.

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