"Natural Synthesizer: Chong Gon Byun's 25 Years in New York

April 8 - 30, 2005

Gallery Korea at the Korean Cultural Center New York
(460 Park Ave. 6th Floor, New York, NY 10022)

Opening Reception: Friday, April 8, 2005 - 6-8 pm

Chong Gon Byun's first retrospective exhibition focuses on the 25 years that the artist has lived in New York and the works he has produced during that time. The exhibition will include major works from the past that have integral meaning to the artist, previously unfinished past works which he completed for this exhibition, and other recent works that will show his fresh approaches. The exhibition will attest to Mr. Byun's creative imagination and insistence on the unexpected.

New York Times art critic William Zimmer wrote about Mr. Byun: "A typical sculpture or assembly by Byun exhibits at least on incongruous pairing of objects. But the association is not random. Everything Byun makes has precise content and he says he makes art to express his emotions. He strives for the most succinct, and therefore the most intense, expression of them." (The New York Times, January 2003) 

The value of his works is not only in Mr. Byun's gifted ability of assemblage but also in his super-realistic expression, which is a counterpart to the real objects. Illusions come from the mystic mingling between the real objects and hyper-realistic expression. These illusions hold ceaseless conversations with viewers, stimulating intellectual curiosity and sensible instincts. 

In 1978, at the First Dong-A Art Festival in Seoul, Mr. Byun won the Grand Prix Award with a realistic illustration of an empty U.S. Air Force airfield. From this start, he began drawing public attention as a rising young Korean artist. In order to have more freedom of expression, however, he decided to move to America in 1981. 

Mr. Byun was born in Daegu, Korea, in 1948. He graduated from Chung-Ang University, Seoul, and received his MFA from Keimyung University in Korea. He also studied at the Art Students League of New York from 1981 to 1984. His works have been widely exhibited around the world, including a special 2003 Gallery Korea exhibition, "At the Crossroads: 100 Years of Korean Immigration to the U.S." His works are in the collections of the Korean National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; the DaeGu City Art Museum, DaeGu, Korea; the POSCO Center, Seoul; the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis; the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland; the Riverdale Y.M.Y.W.H.A., New York; and the Albany Museum of Art, Albany, Georgia. 

An opening reception will be held on Friday, April 8, from 6 - 8 pm. Please contact curator Jin Yong Chung for further information at (212) 759-9550 or nyarts@koreanculture.org. More images and an artist CV are available. Further information is also available at the Korean Cultural Service New York website, www.koreanculture.org.

Gallery Korea, run by the Korean Cultural Service New York, presents exhibitions devoted to diverse aspects of Korean and Korean diasporic culture, as well as group shows featuring international artists. The Korean Cultural Service New York works under the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea to promote mutual cultural understanding between the United States and Korea. 

Miro Yoon