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Beyond the Looking Glass_Into the Looking Glass

Insun Choi

2GIL29 GALLERY is pleased to present “Beyond the Looking Glass _ Into the Looking Glass,” a solo exhibition by Insun Choi (b.1964), running from March 23 to April 20, 2024. This exhibition is a celebration of painting that ventures into the essence of existence at the crossroads of materiality and the deep-seated emotions within humans. Held on a grand scale, it acts as a chronicle of insights from the artist’s career, presenting a visual language that melds the depth of materiality with emotional intuition. Choi’s canvases create complex narratives through layers of paint and the resonance of colors, inviting viewers to encounter emotionally the inherent world that extends beyond what is visually apparent.

Insun Choi, A From of a house 15 degrees leaning, 2008, Mixed Media, 162x131cm

Significantly, while Choi’s earlier works utilized monochromatic restraint and bold color contrasts to pose existential questions and delve into the interplay between matter and humans, this exhibition marks a transformative approach. It turns unique materials into mediums of human emotion, leaving traces of existence on the canvas that transcend our perceived world, providing a sensory experience that goes beyond. Should this be seen as Choi establishing a new facet of materialism, it signals a return to the thematic explorations of his work in the 1990s, with a focus not on the source of representation but on probing the essence of materiality. The works guide viewers to discover their interpretations through an inner mirror, with an emphasis on intuition and faithfulness to the essence of materials and colors, revealing the profound emotions and the weight of existence within us. This is a testament to the depth and resonance that stems from years of practice and a unique artistic language.

Insun Choi, 언어의 궤적에 따라 움직이는 검정, 2003, Mixed Media, 259.1×193.9cm

“Beyond the Mirror _ Into the Mirror” by Choi In-Sun surpasses the physical characteristics of the medium to serve as a conduit for exploring emotions and existence. The subjects built upon his canvas are not reflections of reality but of an essence that exists in an invisible world, demonstrated through the fictional tool of ‘painting.’ The intuitive emotional trajectories highlighted by Choi’s unique painterliness provide a moment to ponder the complex map of human emotions. The traces of existence he creates, formed at the intersection of naturalness and materiality, reflect the self, the inner world, or hidden truths and possibilities contrasting our lived reality. This exhibition is expected to offer an opportunity for a visual expansion that breaks down the boundaries of perception, revealing the countless hidden truths and possibilities that exist in contrast to our reality.

Insun Choi절대빛2003, Mixed Media, 72.7×60.6cm

About the Artist/

Insun Choi (b.1964) is an artist who graduated from the Department of Painting at Hongik University and its Graduate School before moving to New York to complete his education at the State University of New York. He is currently serving as a professor in the Department of Painting at Hongik University. From an early age, Choi has dominated major domestic art awards, sweeping numerous prestigious accolades such as the Grand Prize at the Central Art Exhibition, the Excellence Award at the Korea Art Exhibition, the Young Artist Award hosted by the Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Sports, and the Ha Jong-hyun Art Award, thereby gaining recognition for his talent. He quickly garnered attention in the domestic art scene and has established himself as a leading artist in Korea with extensive exhibition experience in major institutions and galleries. Choi In-sun is celebrated for creating a completely new material language by fusing the inherent weight or mass of sculptural human forms, setting him apart as a uniquely distinctive artist in Korea who fluently navigates between figuration and abstraction, as well as the freedom of materiality and color. Since 2018, he has been supporting economically challenged young artists and talented art students by establishing the Incarnation Cultural Arts Foundation, providing art scholarships and contributing to nurturing future generations. He practices the aesthetics of sharing, not only keeping the achievements from his art for personal gain but also supporting junior artists and culturally marginalized groups, thereby embodying the positive functions of art. With a more prolific body of work than any other active artist, Choi continuously adapts to the rapidly changing contemporary art scene, establishing his own sculptural world and playing a crucial role in the development of Korean art. His works are permanently housed in major museums and galleries in Korea and abroad, including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul Museum of Art, Gwangju Museum of Art, Kumho Cultural Foundation, Ho-Am Art Museum, and the State University of New York.

Installation view of ‘Beyond the Looking Glass_Into the Looking Glass’, Insun Choi

Garosu-gil 35, Gangnam-daero 158gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
82 2 6203 2015