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The music of time

Yoon Sangyoon

Yoon SangYoon, Open Sky, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 91x116cm

From October 23rd to November 18th, ATELIER AKI will present 《The music of time》, a solo exhibition by Yoon Sangyoon. Yoon has established his own aesthetic and style by capturing contemporary social structures and collective and human narratives. The exhibition presents a total of 15 works, ranging from the artist’s series of improvisational and sensual left-hand drawings to his new paintings that capture the changes in social structure with the emergence of Generation MZ.

Yoon Sangyoon’s work begins with contemplation. The artist has consistently explored the relationship between the collective and the individual, as well as social structures and flows. Yoon’s new works in this exhibition also make visible the relationship between social structures and individuals. The title of the exhibition, 《The music of time》, is taken from the title of the work ‘Dance to the Music of Time’ by Nicolas Poussin (1594~1665), a French artist who led the Baroque era in the 17th century. Yoon Sangyoon captures the models borin in 2000s posed forms of the figures in Nicolas Poussin’s paintings, bringing together opposing paradigms such as the classical and the modern, the collective and the individual. The artist’s unique screen exists as a timeless landscape in an another dimension.

“The models are students of the MZ generation, Foussaint’s drawings have been transformed. The collaged images represent the classical literature, mythology, and religious narratives in exaggerated poses. The juxtaposition of theatrical character movements deprives them of everyday meaning and creates an unconscious landscape painting where two paradigms coexist.”

– Yoon Sangyoon

Yoon Sangyoon, “The music of time” Installation View, ATELIER AKI, 2023

A new shift in the collective unconscious, expressed through contemporary phenomena such as generational change and social distancing, is a theme that runs through the new works presented in this exhibition. A structure that respects individualism, does not allow for personal invasions, and has lost the sense of privilege exercised by individuals when a collective identity is secured. The artist recalls the rise of Generation MZ and the change in the individualistic mindset, and describes the change in the social structure where privilege has disappeared in favor of fair relationships through a systematic three-level structure of individual, group, and superego. Although the artist’s screens are often reduced to a somewhat abstract vocabulary, his work remains on a distinctly figurative level, taking the viewer into a surreal world that lies between the reality and illusion. They offer a glimpse into Yoon’s unique approach to the unseen but clearly present currents in the world.

Yoon Sangyoon, “The music of time” Installation View, ATELIER AKI, 2023

The exhibition also features a series of left-hand drawings that the artist has been working on for some time. The artist has established a unique painting methodology in which he draws social structures with his right hand and improvisations with his left, creating two opposing painting worlds that break the stereotypes of conventional painting. The Left Hand Drawing series is an expression of the artist’s pure instincts and senses. Developed by concentrating on the breath and energy of the moment, the paintings are improvisational and rhythmic, much like the ink-and-wash technique of oriental painting. The artist triggers an exchange of visual images based on personal feelings and instincts, and expresses them through his painterly language by working with his left hand, where he has the most freedom. His paintings simultaneously invite the viewer to imagine the colorful meanings of the phenomena. The contrast in methodology between the right-hand paintings, which are shaded in black and white through the Renaissance glazing technique and constructed with dozens of thin coats of color and completed with architectural structures, and the left-hand paintings, which are composed using the impasto technique with thick layers of paint, reveals the artist’s enduring interest in contrast. In particular, Yoon’s own contrasting methodology allows the viewer to feel the artist’s multifaceted view of the world and his thoughts on his paintings.

Yoon Sangyoon, “The music of time” Installation View, ATELIER AKI, 2023

Yoon Sangyoon (b. 1978, Republic of Korea) graduated from Chugye University for the Arts and received his MFA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art & Design, UK. The artist, who has tried various ways of working within the genre of painting, has been recognized for his work by winning the Jonggeun-dang Art Prize in 2012 and the Grand Prize at the National Young Artist Art Competition of the Namdo Cultural Foundation in 2019. He has participated in residencies at Hugh+Network Creative Studio and Nanji Creative Studio, and was selected for the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) ‘Emerging Artists’ program. He has participated in major art fairs such as ART CENTRAL in Hong Kong, Shanghai Art Fair, and Art Élysées in France, as well as special exhibitions at leading galleries in London, New York, etc. His works are in the collections of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) Art Bank, and such.

Yoon Sangyoon, “The music of time” Installation View, ATELIER AKI, 2023

Galleria Forêt 1F, 32-14, Seoulsup 2-gil, Seondong-gu, Seoul, Korea
+82 2 464 7710

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