Solo exhibitions featuring paintings by young artists born in the 1980s are being held at Gallery Baton, Gallery 2, and Kukje Gallery. Artists Bae Yoon Hwan, Hyunsun Jeon, and Heejoon Lee expand the mediums in their artworks by exploring the attributes of painting; furthermore, they show the mutual relationship between the individual and society from various perspectives.
Bae Yoon Hwan: What? In My Back Yard?! at Gallery Baton
Bae Yoon Hwan’s second solo exhibition at Gallery Baton in Seoul runs until July 30, 2022. Bae creates narratives in his paintings by combining information from various media and personal experiences. Eighteen new works are on display in this exhibition, focusing on the environmental and social issues that have not only been the artist’s interest but are also some of the world’s biggest issues today.
Bae uses various media, from paintings to animation, as storytelling is the key point in his works. In What? In My Back Yard?!, Bae presents new paintings. The exhibition title derives from the term “Not in My Backyard” (NIMBY) to relate the works to social issues such as the pandemic, climate change, natural disasters, and capitalism. Personified animals and comically drawn figures on the canvases reflect the social issues that exist in our society. The artist touches on rather heavy subjects, but the scenes he creates are more humorous than serious.
Bae Yoon Hwan (b. 1983) has held solo exhibitions at Doosan Gallery New York (2018), Space Mom (2014), and Insa Art Space (2014). Bae has also been included in group exhibitions at SeMA (2022, 2018), Geumcheon Foundation for Arts and Culture (2021), Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art (2019), and Jeju Museum of Art (2019). He was selected as a resident artist at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), Doosan Gallery New York, and SeMA Nanji. His works are in the collections of MMCA, SeMA, Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, and Cheongju Museum of Art in Korea. He was on the shortlist for the thirty-sixth JoongAng Competition Grand Prix.
Hyunsun Jeon: Meet Me in the Middle at Gallery 2
Artist Hyunsun Jeon is featured at Gallery 2 until August 6, 2022. The artist creates a landscape far from reality by expressing personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings and collecting images with watercolors on the canvas. In this solo exhibition, Meet Me in the Middle, Jeon presents works that explore the middle point where two disparate objects meet.
By reaching the middle point, the artist is referring to the process of finding not only a physical and psychological meeting point but also coming up with a compromise in the genre of painting. To the artist, that common ground is also an area that is difficult to reach. The artist’s previous works consisted of carefully selected simple forms, solid repeating lines, and multi-layered colors. The paintings in this exhibition take on freer and more improvisational forms with boldly painted colors. The geometric shapes represent abstract forms of experience and understanding of the mutual relationships that occur with people, objects, and situations. The exhibition is divided into four sections: first, two different objects that represent multiple relationships; second, a difference that cannot be narrowed down; third, the state of accepting the other through a mirror; and, finally, a monumental sculpture that refers to a temporary solution and agreement.
Hyunsun Jeon (b. 1989) has held numerous solo exhibitions at institutions including Gallery 2 (2018), Alternative Space Loop (2018), and Place Mak (2015). She was in group exhibitions held at Leeum Museum of Art (2022), Space Willing and Dealing (2020), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Cheongju (2019), Busan Museum of Art (2018), Project space SARUBIA (2017), and Doosan Gallery (2015). Jeon won the 2017 Chong Kun Dang Art Award and was also selected for the thirty-seventh JoongAng Fine Arts Prize in 2015.
Kukje Gallery in Busan is currently presenting Heejoon Lee’s first solo exhibition, which will continue until August 14, 2022. A total of twenty artworks are on display in this exhibition, including A Shape of Taste (2018–), a color field painting series; Image Architect (2021–), a photo collage series; and four sculptural works that are an extension of his paintings.
Heejoon Lee edits images collected from the surrounding environment and transforms them into an abstract space combining painting and photography. The artist observes small changes in the surrounding environment that are often seen in daily life, such as roofs, stairs, and newly painted buildings, collecting the images while looking at the various colors and geometric shapes that make up the surroundings from a new perspective. As an artist who is interested in architecture, Lee transfers abstract painting to the form of a photo collage by applying thick colors to black-and-white photos. Through this process, the urban landscapes that exist in the artist’s memory are able to have elements of space and time, creating a scene where architectural and pictorial elements coexist.
Heejoon Lee (b. 1988) has held a number of solo exhibitions in Korea, including Incheon Art Platform (2021), Weekend (2017), and Kigoja (Independent Arts Space Initiative, 2016). Lee has participated in group exhibitions at distinguished institutions within Korea and abroad, including Art Sonje Center, Seoul (2021), Nam-Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), Seoul (2019), Museum SAN, Wonju (2019), Sehwa Museum of Art, Seoul (2019), Artspace Hue, Paju (2019), Akureyri Art Museum, Iceland (2017), and Glasgow School of Art Showcase (2017). In 2019, he received the First Prize of the “New Hero” award, hosted by the monthly art magazine Public Art. His works are in public collections at the Seoul Museum of Art and MMCA Art Bank at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. He is currently an artist-in-residence at Seoul Art Space Geumcheon.