The Korea Herald


Fragile yet strong, G Gallery's 'Thick Skin' showcases two emerging artists

By Park Yuna

Published : Dec. 10, 2023 - 15:03

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An installation view of An installation view of "Thick Skin" at G Gallery in Seoul (G Gallery)

Artists tell us about their inner worlds through the art they create. Two young Korean artists -- Hwang Sue-yon and Choi Yoon-hee -- unveil their inner selves, both fragile yet strong, through the medium of paintings and sculptures.

The emerging artists are showing new works at G Gallery in Seoul at the exhibition “Thick Skin," which kicked off on Nov. 29. Hwang explores paper sculptures, created with paper and graphite. From a distance, the sculptures look as though they are made of steel.

Seemingly firm and strong, the works are in fact rather weak since they are made of paper. Hwang cherishes fragility, the artist said, which is something she considers a primary factor in interacting with one another.

"A house of the day" by Hwang Sue-yon (Courtesy of the artist, G Gallery)

“When we think of fragility and imperfection, we are sort of reluctant to reveal them to others and tend to think it is something we should be embarrassed about. But it is weakness that ultimately leads us to interact with others, seeking help and relying on each other,” the artist said.

Choi’s oil paintings are made up of layers or lines that give off a dream-like atmosphere. She visualizes her surroundings, she said, which could be sound, inner self and the air around her. Choi said the layers of lines are also layers of times that she has lived through.

“I think an artist uses their body as a painting tool. I feel like I travel around the canvas (using my body). The layers of lines are like the traces of my movement, and sometimes it feels like I am looking at the scars of my inner self, looking at those lines,” Choi said.

"Entering the Pocket Space #2" by Choi Yoon-hee (Courtesy of the artist, G Gallery)

If you look at Choi’s paintings for a while, it may start to feel like you are looking into an abyss. Choi said the images in her paintings are partly from what she saw during an ultrasound image at a hospital.

The oil paintings and paper sculptures are intertwined at the exhibition, which runs through Dec. 23 at G Gallery in Gangnam-gu, southern Seoul.

Born in 1981, Hwang graduated from the Seoul National University of Science and Technology, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees. She presented her works at the 11th Gwangju Biennale and had solo exhibitions at the Kumho Museum of Art, Dimensionvariable Space and Doosan Gallery.

Choi received a Master of Fine Arts degree at Korea National University of Arts. Born in 1986, she has had solo exhibitions at various institutions, including the OCI Museum of Art, PS Sarubia, and A-Lounge Gallery.