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The 17th Solo Exhibition : The babel

Choi Hyeong-gil

Artist Choi Hyeong-gil, who is an exclusive artist at KIDARI GALLERY, paints with materials such as acrylic paint, watercolor paint, and gouache based on elaborate drawings using ink pens or pencils, and creates ‘Mr. Kim’ is also working on sculpture with drawing and drawing.

babel_162.7 x 112.4cm_Acrylic, Watercolor, Ink on soft cotton_2023

The character ‘Mr. Kim’ created by artist Choi Hyeong-gil is a material of modern civilization that has been firmly established in people’s minds. In other words, it is expressed and filled with numerous houses as symbols of all materials of wealth and economic value, and the houses are also endowed with the meaning of individuals living in modern society, the age of capitalism. And the shape of the character ‘Mr. Kim’ created by gathering them is also the very image of the modern society we live in. Through Mr. Kim’s appearance and behavior, the artist is asking the question, ‘Are you really happy?’

babel_72.7 x 72.8 cm_Watercolor, Ink on soft cotton_2023

The ‘babel’ series works contain stories about human greed and wrong desires.

Even people who have worked hard in the world with pure passion sometimes lose their original human nature due to overzealousness and wrong choices. The artist compares the form of Mr. Kim, whose ego has collapsed due to such wrong desires, to the Tower of Babel in the Old Testament. Watching Mr. Kim find it difficult to distinguish the boundary between the world and his body, the audience thinks deeply about his current appearance and direction in life.

babel_72.7 x 72.8 cm_Acrylic, Watercolor, Ink on soft cotton_2023

The biggest theme Choi Hyeong-gil pursues through his works is ‘happiness’.

In a modern society dominated by materialism, he suggests a way to approach true happiness through his works. The solution he proposes is a change in the perception of society that modern people have. The current society operating in a network of ‘relationships’ such as ‘humans and humans’, ‘humans and society’, ‘humans in society’, and ‘humans and nature’ is a society in which distorted economic ideas have been established due to human desires and excessive competition. I believe that a new reflection on the wrong perceptions that I have accepted unknowingly while adapting to the system can restore the pure happiness of human beings. Fundamental happiness found in going back to basics through a shift in consciousness. And the essential element of social change that is absolutely necessary to make such ideas into universal values for the public is the restoration of the most basic morality, the artist says. People who forget their preciousness due to dissatisfaction arising from worldly wishes and failures. However, when I imagined the reality where it disappeared. It is said that we finally realize how grateful and happy we are just by the very existence of ‘existence’, leaving all our desires behind.

big_91.0 x 72.8 cm_Acrylic, Watercolor, Ink on soft cotton_2023

Artist Choi Hyeong-gil said, “One afternoon many years ago, I burst into tears when I heard a conversation between my nephew who innocently asked about death and my mother who naturally answered about death. Then I realized the source of all the happiness we dreamed of was in the family, and I was able to redefine the fundamental values of home and life in the face of all the heads of families in this era who live hard for their families.

Mr.Kim runs today_53.1 x 65.4 cm_Acrylic, Watercolor, Ink on soft cotton_2023

So, the works of the ‘babel’ series he draws contain the appearance of longing to restore to the original life, which was pure, unlike the appearance shown by the collapsed external shape. It is expressed as wanting to escape from the wrong world, suffering, or looking at the surroundings and gazing toward a new direction.

And the work titled ‘Big’, which seems to be at the end of the ‘babel’ story, is interpreted as a work that contains both the beginning and the end of the story of Babel.

This work contains the image of ‘Mr. Kim’, who has become a part of the world and has grown up, confronting himself as a child who was not stained by the world.

Through this work, the artist looks at the face of the adult “Mr. Kim,” who has become huge as a collection of people’s children and houses, and what is the meaning of “growing” and “becoming an adult” in the modern society created by humans? As soon as I face my childhood, won’t I be able to realize the true meaning of my life again? They are also telling the answer by asking the audience a question.

And he says, ‘Mr.Kim, the best of our time, still runs today for his family through the rough world.’

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