Hyperphantasia refers to the capability of experiencing vivid mental pictures. YoAhn Han has many sources of imagery, most notably his fluctuating health issues, homosexuality compared with his strict Catholic upbringing, and the fact that he has roots in two very different cultures: South Korea and the US. For most of D. Dominick Lombardi's career, he has relied on the collective unconscious for guidance and inspiration, resulting in loosely wound drawings, various responses to materials and colors, and visual alternatives received when working. Together, they bring a broad spectrum of what can result with such conditioning, from the powerful and poetic paintings of Han, to the darkly comedic socio-political observations of Lombardi.
With Han and Lombardi, the swings in the content of their narratives are multi-layered and visually complex, wound around a strong pull from the past. Han refers to his paintings, which are composed of a variety of painting media, cut paper and resin as an “intersection of the imagery of my homeland Korea, together with Boston, in my own aesthetical conversion.” Han grew up in Chuncheon, South Korea, and maintains a strong bond with that culture. This results in a tendency to fold into his art, representations of the landscape and architecture, mixed with sexual references such as flowers, phallic symbols and the female praying mantis that consumes its male partner after mating – haunting elements that give his art its otherworldly, dreamy feel. In addition, his medical condition, which often causes temporary paralysis, has prompted Han’s obsession with the limitations of being. As a result of all these prompts, Han is clearly reaching for truth, enlightenment and a place where all of the aspects of his life can coalesce in a beautiful and brilliant dreamscape.
Lombardi utilizes past prompts too, but in a more physical sense, as he often repurposes old paintings and drawings to create his multi-layered narratives. His process includes past life drawings done as classroom demonstrations, subconscious thoughts that inspire the lines of his ‘stickers’, old studies for paintings and sculptures, and previously painted canvases to help him to resolve or reimagine his past. Working often with flashes of shape suggestions, colors and compositional changes, Lombardi is also driven by the fleetness of life. However, what triggers most of Lombardi’s art is reliving past thoughts and experiences through repurposing, the utilization of input from the collective unconscious, and the sway of creative editing. Repurposing also occurs in his sculptures, as all of the objects in his work are found. However, subject to gravity, the structure and result of each sculpture is a bit more preplanned.
D. Dominick Lombardi, Curator