Korean Cultural Center Presents City, Unfamiliar Landscape Group Exhibition

By Editorial Team on July 2, 2018
In Kyung Kwon, The private room 2, 129×161cm, Collage of antique books on Hanji(korean paper), Ink, Coloring, 2012. Courtesy of Korean Cultural Center.
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Opening Reception: Friday, July 6 at 6pm
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The Korean Cultural Center Washington, DC proudly presents City, Unfamiliar Landscape, a new group exhibition opening July 6 featuring painting and mixed media works that reexamine the evolving, complex urban spaces that are home to an increasing number of people worldwide, by three contemporary Korean artists: In Kyung Kwon, Hyun Jin Byun and Bora Jin.

Presenting about 30 works of unique technique and visual expression, these three artists share a common theme of the city as a communally owned space that is also a haven for individual lives. For Kwon, Byun, and Jin, the city is a stage for creativity and an important aspect of the modern human environment, but its value is often overlooked due to its routine, at times mechanical nature. Cities are constantly changing in shape and character though: a place where familiarity and unfamiliarity coexist, especially as seen through art.

In Kyung Kwon depicts her home, the city of Seoul, but the process of portraying the city and its surrounding environment abstractly, rather than as a reproduction or recording, is one of rediscovering herself. Kwon often creates expansive city scenes viewed from a single window, an observer’s gaze looking outward with the inner eye, using her own traditional paintings and collage techniques. The resulting landscapes, both familiar and unfamiliar, appear to convey havens of protection, but in collision with ambivalent feelings of a complex and confused city.

Hyun Jin Byun, drawing on the structural elements of an everyday modern city, depicts an urban landscape where nature and industry coexist ironically. Under the theme “Invitation to an Artificial Garden”, Byun transforms symbols of industrialization into natural life forms like a burgeoning green plant. Industrial objects such as high-rise buildings, neon signs, and cars all form this uncanny, decorative garden, inviting the viewer to wonder what sort of creatures live here.

Bora Jin recalls gazing down at tightly packed rows of cosmetics, and imagining a city full of neatly arranged buildings. Their variety, yet sameness in form, regularly lined up, symbolize the mass reproduction of an industrial society in the artist’s works. She uses silk screen as her primary technique, which has a similar symbolic meaning to cosmetics, of making and reproducing the image of beauty that society demands. Through an artificial array of cosmetics, Jin seeks to capture the desolate landscape of cities, the indifference of reality, and the deeper desires of people today.

Admission to the opening reception event including talks by the artists on Friday, July 6 at 6:00 p.m. is free and open to the public, but registration is required at www.KoreaCultureDC.org. City, Unfamiliar Landscape will remain on view during regular hours through July 30, 2018.

About the Artists
In Kyung Kwon received her BFA, MFA, and DFA in Oriental Painting from Hongik University in Korea. She participated in numerous exhibitions including at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the OCI Museum of Art, and the Gana Art Space in Korea. Recently, she participated in overseas exhibitions in France and Spain, and is expanding her activities on the world stage.

Hyun Jin Byun received her BFA and MFA in Traditional Asian Painting at Dongguk University in Korea. She was selected by Artspace H and participated in numerous exhibitions including the Yeosu International Art Festival and Art Ulsan 2017, among others.

Bora Jin received her BFA, MFA, and DFA in Printmaking from Hongik University in Korea. She has participated in numerous exhibitions including at Hangaram Museum, Gyeonggido Art Museum, and Seoul Museum of Art, and has exhibited her work overseas in China, Japan, and the United States.

The Korean Cultural Center Washington, DC at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea is dedicated to strengthening Korea-US ties through a broad variety of public programs, including art exhibitions, guest presentations, educational outreach, institutional partnerships, and support for local events in the Capital area. The KCC is located at 2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20008 and is open to the public Mon. – Fri., 9:00 am to noon and 1:30 – 5:30 pm. To learn more, visit us online at www.KoreaCultureDC.org.