Me, Myself, and I

OCT 11-29, 2022


In the tradition of art, self portrait has been considered as the trace of the artist's self-reflective thoughts and memories which allow us to follow his journey. Through the present day, many artists have produced their self portraits. Ryu also has been depicting herself in the process of navigating her life. She has stated that she initially started paintings as a therapeutic practice, and that continued to be the foundation for her work.

“The process of painting is the way I face and embrace my true self.
I gaze at my inner feelings and feature subjects that represent incomplete myself.”

In this presentations, Ryu introduces her meditative self portraits. When comparing the features shown in the previous works, her recent practice is changing to not as an external description with her character in a narrative but as an expression of interiority. Emotional purification through self-expression is more engaged throughout her recent work.The artist encapsulates her emotional states and embark on a meditation while she paints.

In the central work in this exhibition <목하사이>, a woman is standing still in repose.  The title means “between  moments’. The artist added the explanation that she sometimes get a sense of existing between the moments while meditating. <The Moment 1-5>, five round canvase paintings all bear the same title, albeit with different numbers. Like most of the others on view in this exhibition, this series of works are self referential and they hint at swirling emotions in a soft, subdued color palette. Ryu shows a consistent cast of characters-her many selves- in a loose clusters. She projects this emotional content onto the viewer with very subtle facial features across the paintings presented.

We only aware of our face by mirroring. We constantly prove our existence to others by self-imaging ourself. We choose which version of self to show others, as social media is now a part of our lives. Through the exhibition, Ryu asks questions. Are you seeing your true self? Do you find answers pertaining to yourself?


PART 1:  AUG 7-27, 2022 
PART2: SEP 7-24, 2022


The new philosophy spread by the generation Z who are leading a modern culture has created a so-called mantra that we should prioritize individual’s happiness and sense of accomplishment. Rather than chasing higher position or higher salary, they come to realize the value of a simple hobby not requiring much time, a brief but genuine break, and travel. Living in contemporary era, Kang also is challenging himself to paint and relax at the same time.

“My work began from my inner desire to be relaxed.
I pursued a little bird staying in a well, a small cottage or palace, which is desolate,a barn, and a church that I think might be unknown except for me.
I used to take comfort from drawing such images.”

In traveling in Jeju Island, he happened to discover a landscape in reality which was perfectly suited to his imaginary ideals. He moved to Jeju, and started his journey to build his own utopia.

He paints a landscape in a distance first, then magnifies the figure in the landscape. Kang often makes combinations of landscapes and figures in horizontal or symmetric composition. Figures that stand facing each other or in pairs allow the audience appreciate the work in a well-balanced mood. And gentle outline which looks like it is spreading due to his technique to add paints multiple times all present the sense of stability and function as an assistant helping relaxation.

PART 1 :
A pure white house placed in the center of the complete horizon symbolizes the safest space which is repeatedly shown in his works. In the center of the canvas, it balances weight giving stability to the audience.

Seas, lakes and green fields, which are also frequently used element in his paintings, are very close to his real life, however, he doesn’t simply reflect them as they are. Interacting with his surroundings, he reconstructs them to create more idealized land of his own. This alternative world then liberates the audience from the burden and frustration in real life.

PART 2 :
Throughout the paintings, the audience meets somewhat mysterious characters. As if he insists the burden of real life is in adults’ hands, he deliberately makes his subjects as pure existence. They carry various objects that always was around our childhood or wear animal costume themselves. The childlike figure in his painting is an object in which his desire to be an innocent child free from the pain of reality is reflected.

Kang, however, is not satisfied with escaping through a temporary relaxation by the utopian landscape and childlike characters. Figures with big eyes in child’s body and clothes may look like a pure child, but it also reminds the audience of a master seeming philosophical. Rather than being Peter Pan hid in Neverland, it is closer to be a baby Nietzsche who discovered something important inside, rising above the worldly values.

Through their eyes, Kang is arousing a weighty question about our life and value in a beautiful and peaceful way. Kang speaks a social aspect in our time that we try to keep inner peace amid the pain of reality on his canvas. Walking in the woods, sky, and lakeside along with the characters in the paintings, we will live another day holding a silver lining in our hearts.


JULY 10-31, 2022 


In this exhibition, the artist speaks about how we are connected to the complex relationship between our youth and adulthood. Throuout the paintings, she transforms herself into different adventurers, searching for a better way to grow up. The narratives are personal but universal, unfamiliar but somehow familiar.

Yang Du’s paintings invite us to her virtual space where we meet her interpretation of philosophical and psychological ideas. Her methodology is that she first simulate the forms of characters and layout of the scene with the latest 3D modeling software, and paints with traditional oil color on canvas, which emphasize the link between tradition and innovation. Complex relationship between figurative and abstract, past and present, virtual and reality creates unreal tone evoking the viewer’s senses in where art and human being intersect.

In the society where everything is more focused on appearance than inner side, the artist keeps dealing with various strata of soul-searching. It seems she realized the introspection is the force for growth and innocence of childhood can be source of creation. In a wider(broad) scope, the connection to the past, present, furture is considered the main source of inspiration in Yang Du’s performative process of painting . Through “Children without Innocence” the artist retrospects her childhood but also embrace her current while being optimistic about the future.

“Sometimes be like a struggling youth, sometimes like a casual older man,
but always live like a child, without regret to follow my heart.”  - Yang Du

© 2019 LKIF