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2023 Incheon Artist of the Year Oh Won Bae’s Solo Exhibition “Floating/Reality/Documents” on View Through March 3, 2024, at Incheon Art Platform

“Floating/Reality/Documents” Installation view ©Incheon Art Platform

Incheon Art Platform presents “Floating/Reality/Documents,” a solo exhibition by Oh Won Bae, who was selected as the 2023 Incheon Artist of the Year, at Exhibition 1(B) through March 3.

The 2023 Incheon Artist of the Year is the first exhibition program organized by the Incheon Foundation For Arts & Culture and Incheon Art Platform, and Oh was selected as the first artist in May. The Incheon Artist of the Year, selected from among artists with ties to Incheon, will be supported in their artistic endeavors and will be given an exhibition that broadly illuminates the artist’s work from a contemporary perspective. The purpose of the program is to gauge the current state of Incheon’s art in the context of the times and find future directions.

Oh has consistently addressed the issue of human existence in his work, and the most important material in his work is the human body. In the 1970s, there were dark realities such as the Yushin Tyrannical times that suppressed individual freedom, industrialization, urban poverty, and the absurdity of society. This social background sparked his interest in existence, and his expression of the human form began in earnest after his military service. Starting from the figure of a human wearing a mask that reveals human anonymity, the figure of a half-human half-beast that symbolizes human violence, a dynamic body of resistance, and the body of a uniform and mechanized crowd, he has been using various body shapes that change in response to the passage of time as the main subject of his work.

The titles of the works are all ‘untitled’. This is because the process of relating to the many floating entities in reality and documentation of them through artistic thought can never be reduced to a single word or sentence. The title of the exhibition, “Floating/Reality/Documents,” is a metaphor for the artist’s artistic attitude in relating to this reality.

Oh was born in 1953 in Jung-gu, Incheon, and graduated from Dongguk University’s Department of Fine Arts and Dongguk Graduate School. He later attended the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and served as a professor at Dongguk University’s Department of Fine Arts, where he continued to teach and work for many years. He has held 20 solo exhibitions at various museums, including OCI Art Museum in 2017, Kumho Museum of Art in 2012, Chosun Ilbo Museum of Art in 1998, and “Artist of the Month” at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea in 1989, and has been awarded Lee Jung-seob Award in 1997, Young Artist of the Year in 1992, 3rd Prize in Painting at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in France in 1985, and 1st Prize in Painting at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1984.

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