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(DC) Surreal Dialogue: Works by Ji Yoon Hwang and Soyoung Kim

Surreal Dialogue: Works by Ji Yoon Hwang and Soyoung Kim

The Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. proudly presents Surreal Dialogue: Works by Ji Yoon Hwang and Soyoung Kim, a new exhibition of painting and fabric installation works by two young Korean artists whose diverse, complimentary works explore the language of emotional discomfort in modern society through subtly unsettling images and tactile sensations. 

At first glance, Hwang’s dramatic landscape paintings and Kim’s vivid fabric furniture may appear designed to put one at ease, but a closer look reveals a dream-like storm of emotion. Here, darkness and gusting wind threaten to overtake the viewer’s safe vantage point, and a soft cushion is actually a web of delicately contorted human forms. Each artist strives to communicate this message of emotional dissonance, inviting viewers to consider the human stories and voices in modern society and to explore our own imagination through surrealistic visions of the everyday.

Surreal Dialogue: Works by Ji Yoon Hwang and Soyoung Kim
WHAT: Art exhibition, artist talks, & public opening reception 
WHOJi Yoon Hwang and Soyoung Kim
WHEN: Opening Reception & Artist Talks: Friday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 pm 
On View: Dec. 9, 2016 – Jan. 10, 2017 (no RSVP requried; open M-F, 9am-noon & 1:30-5:30pm)
WHERE: Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. (2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW) 
HOW: Scroll (way) down to RSVP or click here
Click Here to join and share the Facebook event! 

About the Artists 

Ji Yoon Hwang captures the dreamlike qualities of natural scenery, summoning viewers into a dark and bleak landscape that arouses fear, anxiety, and delight. In this way, her works stimulate the soul rather than just the eye. These dynamic and intimate feelings distinguish Hwang’s work from what she calls “barber shop paintings”—plain, simplistic, and ultimately trivial artwork such as a soft, placid landscape. Such stereotypical works have certain shared characteristics with traditional oriental paintings, however. Both recall the subconscious desires of the viewer, while aiming to put people at ease as they direct their attention elsewhere. Hwang rouses this common conception of an “easy” landscape painting by adding intimidating elements to the formula and transforming the work’s feel. The result follows the structure of traditional oriental art, but using Western techniques. Hwang invites viewers to dive into her works and imagine their own deceptively complex emotional landscapes.

Ji Yoon Hwang received her BFA and MFA in Fine Art from the School of Visual Art at Korea National University of Arts. She has participated in numerous exhibitions across Korea, including Art of Healing - Emptying and Filling at the Jeju Museum of Art on Jeju Island, Jeonbuk Art Show 2014 at the Sori Art Center in Jeonju, and Tamed by Night at the Wumin Art Center in Cheongju. She received the 2014 Kumho Young Artist award from the Kumho Museum and was recognized among the 2012 Young Creatives by the OCI Museum of Art. 
Soyoung Kim imbues her work with contemporary aesthetic characteristics by creatively transforming familiar materials from daily life with simplicity and repetition. The most important factor in her work is the act of sewing. Through this action she creates new value out of an object’s original form and identity by disassembling and reconstructing it. The human figures in her work, made of cloth to be both seen and felt, speak to the various concerns, fears, and voices in each of us, and in our modern society. “Each person has their unique color, voice, and lifestyle individually,” Kim says. “They also try to live differently. However, they are always within certain boundaries. Dolls in my work reflect this kind of thinking.

Soyoung Kim received a BFA in painting from Hongik University in Korea and from Meisterschueler at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, Germany, and recently completed the doctoral program studying painting at Hongik University. She took part in an artist residency program at the Gyeongnam Art Creative Center and was selected as a rising artist, and was featured in New Vision & Perspective at the Busan Museum of Art in Korea. Her work was presented at the opening exhibition of the Asia Culture Center, was collected by the art park in Tennenlohe (Erlangen), Germany, and was presented at the 2015 PyeongChang Biennale, among other shows and events. 

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