siren eun young jung: “I believe in art that is able to visualise those erased by society”
June 18, 2024
Where next for Korea’s booming art scene?
June 18, 2024
siren eun young jung: “I believe in art that is able to visualise those erased by society”
June 18, 2024
Where next for Korea’s booming art scene?
June 18, 2024

A selection of Korea’s most exciting contemporary artists have been selected for this year’s Korean Artists Today, a long-term project which will see a cohort of artists chosen each year for their potential to make it on the global stage. See the full list here.

Yooyun Yang deals in contemporary anxieties and variegated emotions, subtly captured in parts of the human body such as the face, hands and eyes. The subjects in her works are suggested by discontinuity—enlarged, cropped or out of focus—creating a hazy appearance to disrupt the viewer’s perception. “I want to make [them] visible from what is hardly seen,” she says. “I am drawn to moments where familiarity and novelty collide, making us feel estranged from mundane subject matters.”

Alienation has been the overarching theme of Yang’s art. The subjects in her works are derived from photographs taken by the artist herself, but are not identifiable as specific individuals. In other words, the figures in the work portray the individuals’ contemporaneity: “Personal emotions, collective sentiments, and the sensibility of the times percolated through a sieve called Yooyun Yang,” she says.

Yooyun Yang’s Tangled (2022)

The artist, who studied traditional Korean painting, uses traditional pigments and acrylic on jangji, a type of hanji (traditional Korean paper). “With this medium, you don’t see its effect immediately after applying the paint; it gets absorbed and dries over time, gradually revealing the outcome—a good fit for nuanced expression.”

After leaving graduate school, Yang found her attention seized by landscapes and historical events—such as the decayed streets of the city centre, political protests and labour struggles—which kept appearing on her canvases. Her recent works continue her interest in labour and its surroundings, conveying working bodies and their traces.

• Yooyun Yang is the recipient of 2019 Chongkundang Yesuljisang, an award programme that supports emerging artists with proven capabilities. Yang has participated in major artist residencies such as Incheon Art Platform and Gyeonggi Creation Center. Yang has held 10 solo exhibitions at institutions including Primary Practice and Stephen Friedman Gallery in the UK. Invited to participate in prestigious international events such as 2023 Taipei Biennial and the 58th Carnegie International, Yang is currently preparing for a solo exhibition at Blindspot Gallery in Hong Kong in June

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