Bo Song

Bo Song in her studio

In her bold, colorful oil paintings, Michigan-based artist based on intuition rather than planned sketches or drawings. Landscapes, floral still lifes, and abstract compositions Bo Song layers colors and shapes in a spontaneous process populate Song’s canvases, each work serving as a meditation on an object, moment, or season. Through the act of painting, the artist seeks to clear her mind and reach a sate of balance and tranquility, and indeed her imagined scenes and painterly brushwork indicate her ability to make pictures without inhibition, her ability to transcend what is seen and paint what is illusory.

Born in Seoul, Korea and coming to the United States by way of New Zealand, Song turned to painting in 2010 after a successful career in corporate marketing. As a Buddhist, notions of karma and zen are present and clearly visible in the artist’s works. She also frequently draws upon the concept of the ancient mandala, a circular symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism, representative of the cosmos. Indeed, the artist often incorporates circles and spheres into her works, signifying the connected nature of pas and present.

Often painting using bright, rich pools of unmodulated color, Song’s canvases vary in subject matter, but the artist’s lively palette and textured application of paint remains consistent. Her landscapes range from fantastical and otherworldly to hilly fores abstractions. Rivers and mountains are sometimes depicted with truthful tones and recognizable features, and other times the artist transforms a countryside scene into a tapestry of abstract color. In Song’s paintings that favor experimentation over repetition, elements of the unexpected hide just below the surface. Complexity and simplicity exist simultaneously in these works that follow the principle of thesis-antithesis-synthesis.

Red Circle, 2017
Oil on Canvas
28.5” x 39”

Blue Circle, 2017
Oil on Canvas
35” x 45”