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Art

#acrylic#Lee Me Kyeoung#painting#South Korea#stores

Exquisite Paintings by Lee Me Kyeoung Are an Ode to the Quaint Corner Stores of South Korea

June 29, 2023

Grace Ebert

Trees envelop a small convenience store surrounded by water and a yellow bridge

All images © Lee Me Kyeoung, shared with permission

City dwellers know that convenience stores have a culture unto themselves, and although franchises continue to dominate and overtake businesses, small, independently run shops have undeniable charm. For the past several years, artist Lee Me Kyeoung (previously) has been adding to her ongoing series of paintings that celebrate the idiosyncrasies and appeal of tiny South Korean corner stores, which are increasingly facing closure.

On view throughout July at Gallery Imazoo in Gangnam, Me Kyeoung’s latest works are an ode to these disappearing locales. Enveloped by lush cherry blossoms or persimmon trees, the shops are well-stocked with dense shelves, crates of goods, and advertisements pasted in the windows. Bicycles, benches, and the occasional folding chair stand outside the entrances. Delicately rendered in pen and acrylic, the paintings depict architectural and organizational variances that make each spot unique, while honoring the cultural ubiquities of these spaces.

Me Kyeoung has a robust archive of the quaint shops, which you can find on Instagram.

A cherry blossom tree stands out front of a small corner store with a bicycle in the street

A cherry blossom tree stands out front of a small corner store

Trees and bushes like the perimeter of a convenience store with a table and vending machine out front

A white sign hangs from a white roof of a convenience store with a vending machine and wood bench at the entrance

A yellow tree towers above a tiny convenience store with yellow seating out front

Trees and bushes envelop a small convenience store with blue sign and yellow seating out front

A persimmon tree stands out front of a small corner store with a folding chair near the entrance

An autumn tree stands in front of a small convenience store with blue roof and pots out front

#acrylic#Lee Me Kyeoung#painting#South Korea#stores

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