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Inhabiting / Uninhabited

Rusudan Khizanishvili

Balancing, Oil on canvas, 170x140cm, 2022

Seojung Art is pleased to present Velvet Armor, a solo exhibition by the Tbilisi, Georgia-born female artist Rusudan Khizanishvili (1979-), running from September 6 to October 30, 2023. Khizanishvili, whose practice is influenced by an array of themes, including architecture, mythology, selfhood, and womanhood, explores the ways in which art connects us to the world beyond our introspective selves.

The Black Horse River, Oil on canvas, 145x115cm, 2023

The iconography of Khizanishvili’s practice encompasses humans, monsters, women, and androgynous beings. Her integration of these mythological elements weaves a cohesive narrative, reminiscent of a mythological scene. Through the recurrent portrayal of nature and animals, with humans at the core, she places a spotlight on human interaction and existence within the world. Her ongoing interest in post-colonialism manifests in her focus on the role of women and the power inherent within gentleness.

Shining, Oil on canvas, 50x50cm, 2023

As hinted by the exhibition’s title, Velvet Armor — Khizanishvili’s Korean debut — stands for the soft yet potent power of women. She veers away from portraying women as solely beautiful and romanticized subjects, a trope often found in pre-modern art. Instead, she vividly expresses their vibrant energy, painting them as strong, occasionally eccentric figures. This emphasis on female strength is a recurring theme in Khizanishvili’s work, demonstrating her belief that “armor” is not designed to segregate us from our adversaries but rather to embrace them. Accompanying Khizanishvili’s pieces, a work by Saeng Kwang Park (1904-1985) is featured in the exhibition, drawing a parallel between Georgia and Korea. Through Park’s vibrant pentachromatic portrayal of Korean folklore and shamanism, Khizanishvili discerns resonances with her practice. The cross-cultural dialogue between the distinctively Korean elements in Park’s work and the traditional Georgian context of Khizanishvili’s pieces invites contemplation of the convergences among diverse cultures.

The Sounds, Oil and mixed media on canvas, 36x36cm, 2023

Khizanishvili studied painting at the J. Nikoladze Art School and Tbilisi State Academy of Art, the latter of which she earned a master’s degree in filmmaking. This landmark exhibition, as the inaugural solo show by a Georgian artist, endeavors to encapsulate the intense and unique sensations emblematic of Georgian culture, a culture that might be somewhat exotic to Koreans. It is our aspiration that the distinct ambiance of Korea and its respect for novel cultures will generate compelling synergies.


12, Bongeunsa-ro 47-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea