While preparing for its fall reopening, the Arario Gallery, Seoul, is currently using the underground floor of the Arario Museum in Space as a temporary exhibition place.
Arario’s museum building is known for its maze-like design, which allows for a variety of experiences within a single space.
And the museum’s underground floor has served as a venue for artists whose unconventional artistic practices push the boundaries of contemporary art due to its dark, mysterious, and awe-inspiring atmosphere.
The current exhibition, THE MOMENT BEFORE DARKNESS, is the second exhibition held on the museum’s underground floor, featuring the works of three emerging artists born in the 1980s and 1990s. The works of Lee Hoin, Wang Seonjeong, and Yeon Jinyeong range from paintings to installations that capture moments and emotions that are ambiguous and straddle boundaries.
There are numerous interpretations of where the line between sunset and nightfall should be drawn in the ambiguous interval just before the sky is completely covered in darkness. This uncertain and vague state may cause anxiety, but for the three artists, it is also a space where new values and opportunities can be contemplated.
Lee Hoin (b. 1980) creates abstract paintings of urban nightscapes. Quickly brushed into the paintings are various sentiments contained in each city’s unique history, as well as the artist’s emotions and perspectives. Since emotions cannot be clearly conveyed through visuals or words, the artist attempts to depict them by focusing on the light emanating from the nighttime landscape.
Lee Hoin has held solo exhibitions at Doosan Gallery (2018, New York) and Gallery Hyundai 16 bungee (2012, Seoul), as well as group exhibitions at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (2019, Cheongju) and Leeum Samsung Museum of Art (2016, Seoul). He is also the recipient of the 7th DOOSAN Artist Award (2016, Seoul).
Through her paintings, Wang Seonjeong (b. 1990) reveals the contrasting nature of discipline and pleasure. Despite ongoing negotiations between social consensus on moral values and personal enjoyment, there is always a gap between the two that cannot be reconciled. To reflect this in her works, the artist frequently borrows images from religious paintings and expresses a scene in languid yet vivid colors for a rather grotesque scene.
Wang has held solo exhibitions at UARTSPACE (2021, Seoul); ART & CULTURE SPACE YEOINSUK (2017, Gunsan); and Seoul National University Museum of Art (2022, Seoul) and has participated in group exhibitions at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (2019, Cheongju); BOAN1942 (2017, Seoul); and Hite Collection (2015, Seoul).
Combining furniture design, Yeon Jinyeong (b. 1993) creates his sculptural works with discarded industrial objects. He attempts to emphasize the beauty of the objects by examining them from a different angle, apart from their original functions. The artist gives new value to objects that were discarded due to a change in shape by altering them.
Yeong is an artist and furniture designer who has participated in several exhibitions, including Museum Soda (2022, Hwaseong); Daelim Museum (2021, Seoul); Global Week at Culture Tank (2020, Seoul); and Young Creative Korea at DDP (2019, Seoul). Recently, he collaborated with Kolon Sports to showcase upcycled works at Sotsot Rebirth (2022, Jeju).
THE MOMENT BEFORE DARKNESS will be on view through August 6, 2022.