"Reprised Reality"

April 25 - May 25, 2007

Gallery Korea of the Korean Cultural Service NY
Opening Reception: April 25, 2007, 6 - 8pm

Gallery Korea of the Korean Cultural Service NY is pleased to present the exhibition Reprised Reality from April 25th to May 25th, 2007, which features the mixed media works of seven Korean born artists, Jae Hi Ahn, Ju Young Ban, Eungyung Kim, Dong Suk Lee, Jin Lee, Mi-Kyoung Lee, and Han Joo Yoo. The exhibition presents the artists in pursuit of retrieving reality from their past, present, or imagination with a poetic and fantastic expression. The show was curated by Yu Jin Hwang, and the opening reception is held from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on Wednesday, April 25, 2007. 

What captures the visual artists and what is the lingering reality for them? Reprised Reality exhibit the body of works which serve as a link between layers of time and place in the midst of half translucent or glittering appearance, which demonstrates narrative freedom of works to swing back and forth in either pictorial or sculptural field. The daily moments are modified, polished, fantasized, interconnected or recounted in the tactile sensibility of materials such as paper, textile, or plastic. The unifying themes of this exhibit can be seen as the collections of real and imaginary worlds, interpreted through clusters of breathing things such as flowers and other living creatures; and labor intensive individual stitches, all crowded within the so-called visual spectrum, too often overlooked in our everyday lives.

For Mi-Kyoung Lee, Eungyung Kim, and Dong Suk Lee, the sewing technique is adopted not as an introduction of femininity but as an embodiment and personification of personal memory. The actions of sewing one stitch after another stitch metaphorically recollects the imbruing fractions of childhood memory. The identity is continuous from pre-adolescence, in particular for Mi-Kyoung Lee, who presents a rhythmic linear composition of threads with an imagery hinting at belly button as a source of life as well as with a memory of her grandmother who was excellent in sewing. 

Eungyung Kim’s kaleidoscopic use of han-bok (Korean traditional dress) derives from her vivid memories of wearing the dress on special days in Korea. She transforms the chromatic color scheme of han-bok into mono tone to convey hope for eternity; the empty paper dresses are vessels between the fragile and temporal earthly life and spiritual and eternal life. On the other hand, Dong Suk Lee’s amplified silk flowers framed with iron thread draws on his pastoral boyhood. Lee’s surrealistic plant leads our recognition back to this familiar object in nature which easily escapes our attention, and which the artist believes as the quintessential entrance to restoration of humanity. 

Jin Lee, Ju Young Ban, and Han Joo Yoo turn fragility of paper paradoxically to signify the eternal cycle of nature. Jin Lee’s elaborate paper composite portraying plants creates the dreamlike spatial environment, and complicatedly delineated cut-outs render forest-like cluster and conveys the rhythmic vitality of the nature. Ju Young Ban focuses on the growth and change in the state of life, and her meticulous drawing of fish now transforms into flowers as we close up on the image in details. Another image represents dramatic motion of flowering and blooming. Evolving and proliferating is a central theme to Han Joo Yoo. She tears daily newspaper into pieces and the repetitive pattern of collage-surface creates circular motion of dynamism. 

Jae Hi Ahn recycles the discarded plastic materials to create the world of nature and life, which is her driving force. Her subtle combining hometown seascape and a tomb of her grandmother, who recently passed away, is evocatively illusive. 

Gallery hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm from Monday through Friday (appointment only for 5:00pm to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 10:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday). For more information, contact Yu Jin Hwang, curator of Gallery Korea, Korean Cultural Service NY at 212-759-9550 or nyarts@koreanculture.org.

Miro Yoon