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Hyeja Solo Exhibition,  "Trans_Reflection"  16.05. 2024~01.06. 2024   UNCgallery,  Seoul












The rise of media-friendly Painting beyond Pictorial Grammar


Ban Yijeong, art critic


While looking at the paintings to be showed to two solo exhibitions to be held in Korea in 2024, Monet's <Water Lilies> came to mind as if overlapping with Hyeja's artworks. Although <Water Lilies> deals with the natural scenery of the Giverny ,France in the 19th century, and Hyeja's artworks deal with various modern cities in the 21st century, the impression of the two different artworks is connected.

The branches flowing down from the top of <Through MELH> (130x160 cm, Oil on Canvas, 2022), painted in the background of Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Steg in Berlin, may be similar to Monet's frequent insertion of willow branches flowing down on the sides and tops of the paintings when he describes water lilies.

The urban districts, which are densely populated with arcades and skyscrapers lined with  central stations and shopping malls, is the main object of Hyeja's handling. These places exist objectively, but the places reproduced in her artworks cannot exist in the world. In that respect, her work is a subjective landscape painting.

The Platinum Walk (131x161cm, Oil on Canvas, 2023), which painted Platinum building in Berlin, is only located in Berlin, and the road in front of the building is taken from London night street, and the bottom of the painting is taken from  Łódź Central Station in Poland. As a result, this modern urban landscape painting is a subjective landscape edited by the artist's memory that is not existed in reality. "Where should I go" (100x80cm, Oil on Canvas, 2022) also seems like a specific place at first glance, but in this artwork, different places in Germany, the UK, and Poland are organically combined. Mixing and recalling memories experienced at different times in different regions is a way we remember and think in the era when new media dominate life. In that respect, Hyeja's subjective artworks are in contact with the sensibility of the present era. In the process of Hyeja's artworks production method and preparation, the impressionism to which Monet belongs is summoned again. The sky and clouds are reflected on the surface of the pond described in "Water Lilies" and are combined with the water lilies. In the chronology of Hyeja's artworks, the period of overlapping two or more independent time and space dates back to at least 2011. The number of different layers of time and space piled up on one screen increases as time goes by.

The bottom surface of a large city that appears in the 2020s artworks showed this year is moist as if wet with rainwater. Even "Stopover Path" (130x97 cm, Oil on Canvas, 2021), which depicts an indoor space, handled  it like a calm wave flowing water.

This is a method of expression that is possible because the artist experiences of visiting various places in different time and space for years  are applied into one screen.

<Jogging> (43x53cm, Oil on Canvas 2022) depicts the back of a figure running lightly through a quiet city, but the wet ground on which the person runs is probably not because it actually rained right after.

This surreal screen was created by recalling the artist's memories of visiting ponds or rivers in another areas above the artist's memories of being in the space and time where the jogging figure was present.

The surface of Hyeja's painting has the texture of a photograph. Among the factors that Impressionist painting changed the paradigm of painting is media friendliness. Impressionism emerged as a painter's response to photography, which emerged as a new media in the 19th century.

Unlike the long-standing grammar of academy painting, which follows carefully selected composition and color, and sets themes for grand narratives such as mythology and history, Impressionism has released paintings that look unfinished with the change of light, and it has found themes from micro-discourse on the life of periphery like snapshots shooting everyday life.

The driving force behind this differentiation of impressionism is media affinity. Cameras in the early stages of development required long exposure, and inevitably shutter-drag occurred, producing blurry printed photos. It is a common belief in art history circles that unclear photographic images influenced the depiction methods of impressionist painters. Impressionist painters, including Degas, blurred the boundary between the object and the background, making the entire painting a soft pastel tone.

Impressionism emerges as the next generation of painting, differentiating it from academic paintings with clear boundary and light-shade of object. All of this can be said to have originated from Impressionism’s media affinity.

The involvement of photography in the long preparation process of creation is consistently observed not only in Hyeja's recent works but also in her early works. There are many landscape paintings in the 2010s that depict indoor arcades lined with shops on both sides or downtown in one-point perspective. The work at the time depicted the object as a refracted shape, like an optically distorted image. As a result, the depicted object appears as if it is reflected in water or as if it is burning, adding a mysterious sense of dynamism to the still scene.

Apart from the expression method that resembles optical distortion, Hyeja has been working on (photo) medium-friendly paintings, and photography is also involved in the work preparation process. The experiences of different time and space used to create her subjective landscapes come from stored images she shot with her cell phone. In addition, even in a still scene capturing a scene of a cityscape, movement occurs as multiple layers of different time and space overlap.

Hyeja's homogeneous screen, which is overlapped unrelated time and space, leans towards abstraction. Screens that do not converge into a unified story but play separately are edited into one screen.

It is clearly observed in the mainstream art world that the conventional painting paradigm, such as the dichotomy between figuration and abstraction and the setting of clear themes, is losing its power with the spread of new media.The newly  term "Trans-Reflection," which is coined for the title of Hyeja's domestic solo exhibition this year, may mean combining multiple screens beyond the long-standing attributes of  photos or paintings that reflects/represents something, but it also mean that it goes beyond the grammar of conventional painting.








 "TIME WARP"  02.02. 2024~18.02. 2024   vbkgalerie,  Berlin












TIME WARP _Wenn Gewissheit ins Rutschen gerät

„Time Warp" ist ein Begriff aus der englischen Sprache, der eine Änderung in der Messung der Zeit" bedeutet. To warp" bedeutet verzerren oder krümmen. Das kann bedeuten, dass die Zeit schneller oder langsamer verläuft, dass sie stehen zu bleiben scheint oder uns geradezu "davonrennt". Das Gefühl von Zeit wird äußerst individuell wahrgenommen. Obwohl wir alle in derselben Zeit leben, erlebt jeder sie auf seine eigene Weise. Das Zeitgefühl kann von kurzer Dauer sein oder uns das Gefühl geben, auf einer endlosen Reise durch Raum und Zeit einer Zeitreise-zu sein. Es kann sein, dass wir den Bezug zur Realität verlieren oder sle viel klarer sehen.

Das Erschaffen von Kunst ist ein radikal kurzer Prozess oder nahezu endlos. Die Welt, die wir kennen, ist verbunden mit unserer Imagination. Unsere Wahrnehmung wird vielseitig beeinflusst. Unterbrechungen oder Aussetzungen gestalten sich wie eine Verzerrung von Raum und Zeit, deren Stauchung und Dehnung formlos und unfassbar werden.

Es gibt bekannte Beispiele aus der Vergangenheit in der Bildenden Kunst: Salvador Dali, Hieronymus Bosch und René Magritte sind Künstler, die die Zeit surreal visualisiert und mit Fantasie spielerisch interpretiert haben. Das Musical „The Rocky Horror Picture Show"hat mit „Let's do the Time Warp again" Kultstatus geschaffen. "TIME WARP" ist eine Sammlung von Möglichkeiten, in der es scheint, einer Zeitverschiebung zu begegnen, die Zeit schweben zu lassen, einen Zeitsprung zu erleben, dessen Aufhebung oder Unterbrechung zu erleben.

Zu diesem Thema werden in der Ausstellung „Time Warp" 11 künstlerische Positionen präsentiert. Es bietet sich die Chance für neue Erkenntnisse und Wahrnehmungsprozesse durch Malerei, Grafik, Skulptur, Installation, Objekte, Fotografie, Video und Collage. In dieser Ausstellung sind Antworten zu finden.

Ausstellunge Künstler*innen :

Yukihiro Ikutani | Gerda Berger | Marion Angulanza | Monika Funke-Stern | Hyeja Kim | Andrea Cataudella | Hans Jürgen Gabriel |

Fumiari Ogawa | Helga Wagner

Vom 17.02-19.02 ist die „Screenwriters Lounge -Berlinale 2024“ zu Gast.

Projektleitung/Kontakte: Marilyn Green und Gerda Berger









Die Ausstellung „Between Reality"  12.05. 2022~09.06. 2022   Kunstraum F200, Berlin




























 von HyeJa und Peter Lindenberg 12.05.2022 im Kunstraum F200
beschreibt eine Wahrnehmung der äußeren Umgebung als subjektives Erlebnis. In der Kunst versteht sich das von selbst und äußert sich wie selbstverständlich subjektiv. Realistische Parameter werden erst in der allgemeinen Wiedererkennbarkeit deutlich. Stadtlandschaften, mit dem Getöse an Lichtern, Schriften, Farben, Slogans und vielen anderen Reizen, lassen diese subjektive Realität gleichzeitig als eigenes Erlebnis wiedergeben als auch als ein allgemein nachvollziehbares Empfinden. Ähnlich verhält es sich in der vegetativen Natur. Wald als Verwirrraum, zunächst ohne Fixpunkt, verhält sich oft wie der künstliche Großstadtraum. Tiere haben sich diesem Raum angepasst und versuchen sich so (nicht nur unserer) wahrnehmbaren Realität zu entkommen. Beide Malerei-Ansätze haben Ähnlichkeiten, nicht nur zueinander, sondern auch in der allgemein-sozialen Kommunikation und bilden so ein Gleichnis zur „Zwischen-Realität“
-Peter Lindenberg Berlin 2022



Kunstraum F200
Kunstram F200













 As if in the beginning, the universe has been doing life activities finding order in the formless chaos and rules in the unpredictable nature, I paint as an act of seeking order and breathing in the chaos of the city.
"To me, painting is a space where I sometimes get lost the way and wander off about where I am, where I am going, what I see and what is visible, but at the same time, thinking space that enables me to return to everyday life and a space for life activities that generates a new source of creation by concentrating on the innermost self again.”

I first came to Berlin to participate in the International Artist Residency Program in 2011 with the support of Arts Council Korea. 
Because it was my first overseas experience, I always used to get lost by communication difficulties, so I have vivid memories of returning to the studio based on the images I remember, focusing on what I see and what is visible more sensitively. 
Since then, I have been working between Seoul and Berlin, and thanks to the rapidly expanding network, the environment to live and work in Berlin when I lived again in 2017 has got used to and convenient. But I still collect the everyday landscapes I experience as objects of memory and observation at the boundary between the live of traveler and resident, and work based on them.
My mobile phone is full of images that I encounter on the park promenade, the scenery of the moment I accidentally stop while riding a bicycle, the night street, the reflection on the water, the train station, etc.
These are unspecified moments that are momentarily stand and captured in an urban space that has no direction and is a moving desire and chaos itself.
Sometimes with joy and vitality, sometimes with fear, confusion, tension and isolation, those are like records on the memories of familiarity and unfamiliarity. Some are deleted, some are posted, and some are stored in certain folders without promise.
Just as memories reflecting individual desires are stored, deleted, exchanged, and edited on the spot in digital tools in modern society, I scroll through images for several times I have stored in that way and extract the fragments, and then reconstruct them to paint. 
There are no separate norms or restrictions to collage and montage their different spaces and times in there. So, the places in the artworks become more than places, and the images captured in everyday landscapes are related to the sense of life that includes both reality and illusion beyond the daily life. 
The narrative “Narrative” that comes from the Latin “narrare” meaning “to prove the existencethat I am alive” is a series of real or fictional events rather than “story”, and is a concept that includes both reality and fantasy. My artworks are kinds of visual variations on an uncertain life out of the context in which the boundaries between reality and fantasy, between the past, present and future are ambiguous.
Thus, it is "Pictorial Narrative" in which the wonder and futility experienced by endlessly moving back and forth between fragments and aggregations on the life are embodied in a new whole. - Hyeja, 혜자 2021


WIE das Universum, DAS von Anfang an das Leben gestaltet hat, indem es Ordnung im formlosen Chaos und Regeln in der unberechenbaren Natur gefunden hat, male ich als einen Akt der Suche nach Ordnung und des Atmens im Chaos der Stadt.
"Für mich ist die Malerei ein Raum, in dem ich mich manchmal verirre und darüber nachdenke, wo ich bin, wohin ich gehe, was ich sehe und was sichtbar ist, aber gleichzeitig auch ein Denkraum, der es mir ermöglicht, in den Alltag zurückzukehren, und ein Raum für Lebensaktivitäten, der eine neue Quelle der Schöpfung hervorbringt, indem ich mich wieder auf mein Innerstes konzentriere."

Ich kam 2011 zum ersten Mal nach Berlin, um am International Artist Residency Program teilzunehmen, mit  der Unterstützung des Arts Council Korea.
Da es meine erste Auslandserfahrung war, hatte ich immer wieder Verständigungsschwierigkeiten. Ich habe daher lebhafte Erinnerungen daran, wie ich ins Atelier zurückkehre und mich auf das konzentriere, was ich sehe, und wie ich das Sichtbare sensibler wahrnehme.


Seitdem arbeite ich zwischen Seoul und Berlin, und dank des schnell wachsenden Netzwerks ist die Umgebung, in der ich seit 2017 wieder in Berlin lebe und arbeite, gewöhnungsbedürftig und bequem. Aber ich sammle immer noch die alltäglichen Landschaften, die ich als  Erinnerungs- und Beobachtungsobjekte, die ich an der Grenze zwischen dem Leben als Reisender und als Bewohner erlebe, und arbeite auf ihrer Grundlage. Mein Handy ist voll von Bildern, die mir auf der Parkpromenade begegnen, die Szenerie des Moments, in dem ich zufällig beim Fahrradfahren anhalte, die nächtliche Straße, die Spiegelung auf dem Wasser,
der Bahnhof, usw.  Es handelt sich um unbestimmte Momente, die in einem städtischen Raum, der keine Richtung hat und selbst ein sich bewegendes Verlangen und Chaos ist, kurzzeitig stehen bleiben und festgehalten werden.
Manchmal mit Freude und Vitalität, manchmal mit Angst, Verwirrung, Spannung und Isolation, sind diese wie Aufzeichnungen über die Erinnerungen von Vertrautheit und Unvertrautheit. Einige werden gelöscht, andere werden gepostet, und einige werden in bestimmten Ordnern ohne Verheißung aufbewahrt.
So wie Erinnerungen, die individuelle Wünsche widerspiegeln, in den digitalen Werkzeugen der modernen Gesellschaft an Ort und Stelle gespeichert, gelöscht, ausgetauscht und bearbeitet werden  So wie in der modernen Gesellschaft Erinnerungen, die individuelle Wünsche widerspiegeln, auf der Stelle in digitalen Werkzeugen gespeichert, gelöscht, ausgetauscht und bearbeitet werden, blättere ich durch die Bilder, die ich mehrmals auf diese Weise gespeichert habe, und extrahiere die Fragmente, um sie dann zum Malen zu rekonstruieren.

Es gibt keine gesonderten Normen oder Beschränkungen für die Collage und die Montage der verschiedenen Räume und Zeiten, die darin vorkommen.
So werden die Orte in den Kunstwerken zu mehr als Orten, und die in alltäglichen Landschaften eingefangenen Bilder sind mit dem Sinn des Lebens verbunden, der sowohl Realität als auch Illusion jenseits des täglichen Lebens umfasst.

Die Erzählung "Narrative", die vom lateinischen Wort "narrare" stammt und "die Existenz beweisen dass ich lebe", ist eher eine Reihe von realen oder fiktiven Ereignissen als eine "Geschichte" und ist ein Konzept, das sowohl Realität als auch Fantasie umfasst.

Meine Kunstwerke sind eine Art visuelle Variationen eines ungewissen Lebens in einem Kontext, in dem die Grenzen zwischen Realität und Fantasie, zwischen Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft unklar sind.
Es handelt sich also um "Pictorial Narrative", in denen das Wunder und die Vergeblichkeit, die man erlebt, wenn man sich endlos zwischen Fragmenten und Ansammlungen des Lebens hin und her bewegt, in einem neuen Ganzen verkörpert werden.

-Hyeja 혜자 2021



The 11th Solo Exhibition, HYEJA _Pictorial Narrative  11.29. 2021~01.29. 2022  GalerieZ22 Brelin


2021solo 2.jpg
Exhibition scene3, Galerie Z22.jpg
Exhibition scene, Galerie Z22.jpg


















How is the city's breathing and body temperature expressed?


"Confusion causes us to lose our way of " what to look " temporarily, but at the same time it gives us get back into that concerntrates on ourselves."

                                      - Hyeja, among artist statments -

Hyeja draws not the city, but the heart of the city, the soul of the city. Hyeja draws with a unique breath, a city that is wriggling and full of energy. The city is alive. 
But where does the living, the streets, the plazas, the parks and the buildings provide breathing, the power to make them hot or warm, the body temperature, and the energy to burst? It is not the artist's responsibility to analyze and explain the city.The artist's share is to feel, feel and feel more intense. In it, it does so until the tentacles of insight grow. Over the past 10 years, Hyeja has been doing so about the city's breathing and body temperature.
Until at least the<Emotional city> of 2010, Hyeja painted a city that was hot, glaring, and burning enough to melt. It was probably a city of desire. Boiling and blowing heat, excessive excitement, melting dizziness, and a desire to tie them all together ... , Perhaps the depiction of the "terrena civitas" thought by Hippo's Augustine (Augustine 354-430) was similar? Augustine says. Rome, where was the center of civilization and the top of the world, and the party that brought history back from superstition and superstition, "fell down a little at first, then collapsed like a torrent."
Augustine's earthly city was inherited from wealth created by urban development and a late modern city that acquired form from legalized greed. The 'humid heat' and 'impulse' that a strong city with Roman DNA spurts doubles psychological insecurity and chaos. The ruthless mechanism of the perpetrators who produced unfair victims was the truth that Malcolm Miles witnessed in modern cities. I read the sign of the savage capitalism that is totally dependent on the development business and corporate culture to divide the success zone and the failure zone.Hyeja was also trying to read the symbol of the barbarity, the dynamic symbolof barbarism, which had both life and downfall factors in it, in a workshop in the redevelopment area in 2006. Hoping to get away from it.
But in 2011 when she was painting <Alexanderplatz> in Berlin, her thinking about city was not the same as before. Hyeja's <Alexanderplatz> is ​​interestingly somewhat alike in Alfred Döblin's novel by 1929, <Berlin Alexanderplatz>. The red hue that occupies the left half of <Alexanderplatz>, a long horizon, seems to be a description of the whirlwind life of Franz Biberkopfs, the protagonist of the novel.  Biberkopfs, who has already been released from prison after four years of imprisonment, seems to be happy by the lover of the prostitute for a while but becomes disabled and wandering pimp because of the betrayal of his friend Reinhardt, soon falling into the underground world,  is sent to a psychiatric hospital by being falsely charged with a murderer
On the other hand, the right half of <Alexander Platz >tells us that Hyeja is fascinated by other truths of the city. In the light blue air of right half in <Alexanderplatz>, the city restores a peaceful routine. In this half the cityis not a clue of despair, for example, as Charles Dickens said in <A Tale of Two Cities>, not preparing for any salvation. Dickens has said that the city is always the worst even when it is the best, but the city of Hyeja moves little by little into the sign of affirmation, which is now even meaningful at the worst. The city of Hyeja now has a leisurely stroll and street performances. People's ordinary lives are much less interrupted. It still fallson a trap of life, falls into a swamp of meaninglessness, is driven to solitude, but the ultimate catastrophe will not come.
From 2010 to 2011,there was a clear change in the paintings of Hyeja. The context is still glimpse of living and the psychological consequence of the people  in the modern city. However, the <Wandering Parade> and <Reflective City> series do not be awkward  a bit lighter hue than the previous <Emotional city>. Places are still covered with heat and people are stung by the tentacles of the gleaming city, but everything is much more rational and less depressing than before. The hot tentacles that wrapped around the city are not as aggressive as before. The places do not melt anymore. The breathing of the street is only a little warm. A ruffled wind appropriately lowers the city's temperature. Visual tension now occurs between stationary and fast flowing. Many things appear and disappear. Experience and memories organically collage and overlap. The city is constantly changing and renewing, in which people live a time of flow. The city may still be the 'Fortressof Satan' as Christophe Blumhardt once said. But tomorrow will not be more like today. In the city of Hyeja, people are now gathering in the plaza and living their lives in time and change.
Change is not just about the dimension of expression. The source of change is the artist's perception and reason for the city and life itself. After 2011, the city refuses to dissolve with loss and despair as before. Hyeja is more free from reductionism than before. He is now free to go to the collector of images.There is no norm or restriction to collage the collected images and to montage different spaces and times. The city was reconstructed and divided between fragmentation and assembly. Each segment is joined again into a new whole. Hyeja uses his expressive power to visualize the energy that connects the city with something beyond the city, a fateful force that re-contexts each one into one. By this pictorial narrative, places are more than places, and streets are associated with a sense of life that goes beyond everyday walks. The city of Hyeja is warm enough during segmentation and fragmentation. The breath is transmitted to a certain backlight world that is light, but beyond the perception. The truthful confession of the city that refuses to be reduced to anything like this is anew one I have never heard before.


_By Sang Yong Sim (Dr.Art History, Art Critic)

The 9th Solo Exhibition, Reflective City     2016~12.15. 2016     UNC gallery, Seoul




The 8th Solo Exhibition, Reflective City, 01.24. 2014~03.08. 2014 Lee galereie, Berlin















Streets, Arcades, squares and central stations, the places in a constant state of flux where people ceaselessly gather and disperse, are the main inspiration for my work. These places are symbolic of everyday life in cities ruled by a capitalistic system, in which their spectacular transitory nature sees situations happen then disappear. I focus on the invisible, formless energy, endlessly evolving and surrounded by the images and symbols of contemporary cities.  A city is an assembly of artificiality that modern people feel more intimacy for than nature.  It blinds us with joy and vitality, but at the same time fills us with fear, confusion, nervousness, and a sense of detachment. I see the city as an ecstatic landscape where the present and the past shift and swirl, and in my paintings I attempt to capture this vital movement. As reference I collect images, shifting, and assembling them based on my own bodily experience. By using landscapes of city in Seoul  , Berlin and Leipzig, where I used to live, as references of my work, I try to visualize an illusion which is an accumulated form of an invisible energy.  An energy that is generated from endless desires and temptations fusing and dividing people, and making them repeat the creative evolutionary process, where social and economic relationships cause the inexorable duel sidedness of the city. 

_Artist Statement, Hyeja, 2013

2014 flyer.jpg

The 7th Solo Exhibition, Wandering Parade, Lee galerie BERLIN  16.12. 2011~28.01. 2012







 In my attempt to search for the invisible energy of life I draw streets and arcades, places where things and crowed gather, all driven by a dynamic force to discover the significance of signs and neon lights. There is a potential craving on the part of the city to self-evolve with living phantoms, which are unable to exist without inciting endless desire. I also want to express the progress made to find the essence of energy, changing its shape without focusing on any one particular point. It is the symbol of a modern city by emphasizing the absence as well as the similarity between the progress of a "life" born in living city and the identity of a human being that continuously pursues something, adapting himself to the change of environment.


 _Artist Statement, Hyeja, 2011


The 6th Solo Exhibition, Emotional City, UNC gallery, Seoul  10.06.~04.07. 2010






'A Thousand Character Story' about 'Emotional City Exhibition' 

The artificial cities created by the human desire have evolved with the development of the human civilization. Owing to the revolutionary development of science and technology, cities have come to possess the self-purifying capacity of growing and changing beyond the human control. The geometric skyscrapers rising high to the limit for the human ascension. The luxury goods satisfying the endless human desires. The gorgeous lighting transcending the darkness... The cities evolving spontaneously for themselves have become new organisms sympathizing with the human beings; they are no longer possessed by human beings.Cities – Organisms alive . 
What is a genuinely essential look of the city? The city connotes a variety of human desires invisible in addition to the material connotations forming itself. In a city, are mixed a variety of human desires: the desire of attaching a meaning of life to the city, the desire for a terrible wealth through the urban development projects, the desire of attaching a new meaning of life to the new place... Such human desires act as ambiguous energy to give life to the city, and the energy of life serves to form the city into a living and evolving organism. 
To Hyeja, the city seems to be a life approaching her as an energy invisible to her rather than a possession created by human beings. To her, the city does not stagnate but change toward some goal continuously; she seems to feel that the city resembles the essence of human beings exploring something incessantly. To her, the city is an organism having another energy resembling the human beings. 
The artist who had explored the energy immanent in every object focused on the amorphous energy of the city on the border between the physical spaces – her studio and external environment – at her solo exhibition "Uncertain Scape" in 2008. However, at her another solo exhibition "Emotional City" in 2010, the artist seems to explore the nature of the city identity by entering into the external environment outside her studio and thereby, sensing the energy of life inherent in the city personally. The City mixed with Virtuality and Reality. 
Artist Hyeja does not simply contain on her canvas the urban landscape visible. She depicts the inside look of the city full of the invisible energy. Her urban landscape seems to have virtuality and reality mixed as well as the chaos and order mixed. The gorgeous colors dazzling our eyes, and the movements of the lines formed ambiguously in an order amid a disorder... The buildings decorated with the luxurious colors, the diverse lights changing the dark streets into another new world. The crowd walking inside such gorgeous city.. All these are connected with each other into an organism in her works. The urban landscape the artist wants to express may be not real but virtual. However, the virtual look seems to be near the essence of the city. She transcends the limit of representation of the visible landscape to suggest an essential urban landscape not visible but invisible.

-Preveiw by UNC Gallery

The cityscape of Hyeja is filled with mushy shapes and colors. Elegance and Intensity of the urbanity still exists in, but the former borders defined by their own signs are fully deconstructed, and filled with the dynamics of inter-inflitrating powers. Abstract patterns of uncertainty overwhelm the canvas in recent works, however, those are based on representative factors, especially intense emotion of the artist, rather than meaningless details. Subjects of the work are the places where she lives near, like outskirts of Seoul city on developing , or where many people’re gathering and dispersing. 
With the rush of various objects and people in Hyeja's work, one can feel both of chaos and vitality. She chooses the time when the light and the darkness coexist. Some works are dealing with the night itself, but most works are concentrating on the moment when artificial lightings are begin to be lightened while natural light still remains. 
Lightened signs and neon lights at the end of dim afternoon show the borderline of time. Semiotic signs suddenly start to move, and then mixed into the crowd dynamically. We cannot find any existences like deep-rooted trees or something. Various signs are changing with infinity; And for cars and people filling up the street, they are just 'random and unspecified' without that cannot be distinguished. Things and people make a series of flow by mixing together. And this flow is related to the place of consumption, rather than any other. The place where sellers and buyers are gathered becomes the place under flow and control of sign that provokes desire and attraction. In the situation where the identity of modern people is reduced to an identity of consumer, surrounding environment is continuously infiltrating individuals with living phantoms.
It is related with a certain physical intensity from the encounter of urbanity. Artist excellently captures and expresses the strangeness of a situation.
The artist says that 'Somewhat like the movement of a cell interests me' and ‘ something like pain and delight in the process of birth’ . 
Among many paintings about cityscape, the peculiarity of Hyeja's cityscape is the directness that directly touches the sense of body. This directness touches the sympathy rather than any other sociological researches on city.
In her work, synchrony between thing and people is visualized as an image of liquid with indeterminate flow. She emphasized the liquid factors of modernity in the miniature of capitalism, represented as acade. Stopless flow in the painting means that the modernity represents stopless, or remainless as Sigmund Bauman referred in [liquied modernity]. The desire of contemporary consumer that never be satisfied, floats in the air without any clear escape.
As Marshall Berman referred in [The experience of modernity], becoming modern means experiencing private and social life as a spiral, finding one's self and world in the conflict between eternal deconstruction and revive, hardship and agony, vagueness and opposition. It is the process of blending into the world, melting all the solid into the air…
The maelstrom that melts people and thing into a great flow includes regional stream like chaotic convection. In the way from light modernity to heavy modernity as Bauman theorized, the ruling value is still the value of capital. The capital moves in order to find temporary profits. This mobility of capital becomes the base of eternal uncertainty in the views of other values. The vanish and mixture of border in time and space expressed in Hyeja's work is the expression of contemporary society of compressing and imploding everything. Easy come, easy go of everything. In this rapid society, the methodology of paintings seems to be very slow. Her work is somewhat like paintings, however, the experiences on photos or videos are well blended. Even in fixed canvas, her work causes an optical illusion of cycling and blinking images like movie screen. The city itself, the motive of this work is so different from a massive screen. Screenized world and outskirt of Seoul as a compressed shard of the world lives in, wearing the dress of fantastic colors and shapes.

 -By Lee, Sun-young (art critic)


The 5th solo exhibition, ''MAtrix",  20.08~03.09  2008   UNC gallery, Seoul









 Work becomes vague and obscure when there is no obejective link in it, because the image itself is more vague and misty than object painting. Furthermore, it becomes more ambiguous when intended meanings can be valuable only in the artist's subjective fantasy. However, Hyeja does not prefer unspecified or unfixed,  embodiement of her work is not obscure. Because the correspondence between vague shape and vague meaning of her work never results in expected way of critical view on urbanization.  Her own atmosphere of gazing around that was shown in her work is signalized and blossoming in her work.

Scenery touched by 'Ego'

Herself, gaze of 'Ego', is based on deep self-recognization. Also it has a hazard of misreading as bottomless self-deception. But comparing her work <Cityeverie> series(work 1,2) <Night Motion>(work 3) and <A Dim Drift>(work 4), we can see how she has dealt with light and darkness, chaos and universe by "Marvelous composition" . She shows her scenery around herself seen by the gaze of 'Ego' herself, not by unrest nor unstablity from emotions of escape. She sharply expresses what is smellt, touched, shown by her own gaze.

So we can approach her work as conflict and chaos about creation and destruction felt in her workplace that lies on the border between urban and rural. Surely her workplace used about 10 years has affected on her work as time and tide has done.  However her work was not contamined by trivialism yet, so we can not explain her sharp and scrupulous gaze only by simply addressing the situation around her workplace as done before.

Shown in her confession in her worknote 'To me, work is  a question about changing self-identity through changes, (omitted),  a journey to find the energy of creation', we can feel the essence of her that remembers every time without missing a change in her ontological   

Her workplace has provided main factors of creation since 'Hyeja private exhibition_Flowing bihind', 2006. Psychological factors aiming internal from isolated border, arousing in her mind when she comes into her workplace, has affecfed 
Confusion of existence as a metonym of life

She tells the story about the identity of where continuous changes are exist as expressing undesirable desire appeared in images from the mixture of energies like unseen trace of air. That story shows about the process of birth as an appearance of life with dynamic,  and the process of changing 'Ego' by the influence of environment. Her work deconstructs the relation between object and its meaning like atonal musics without harmoincal function relationship.

As she herself knows well, it is time to attempt experimental try in another place. It is a symptom of new life blossoming in her work, makes me expect another mode of "Marvelous composition" or "Chaos". This exhibition seems to be a trailer of a competent artist who are expanding its artworld to the top, and make our hearts flutter with expectations.

-By Park, yun-ju( art critic)


The 4th Solo Exhibition,"Uncertanscape", 30.03~19.04. 2007, Songeun gallery, Seoul







 In 2000 I converted a greenhouse into my studio. The reason why I began to use a greenhouse as my studio is simply economical, but its site-specific feature became one of the main elements in my creation. As the greenhouse is located in the boundary between the urban and rural areas, my creative endeavors are made between earth and cement. Its surrounding landscape looks slightly beautiful with its suburban disorder and leisurely atmosphere. Amid a cross feeling of despair and hope hidden behind my daily comfort, I feel some weird tension and movement.     Its surface is covered with naturally growing ivy, as if to prove the will of nature. When entering the place, its acute and damp smell is reminiscent of a jungle where plenty of plants grow densely.     As if microorganisms unite and divide to create a variety of life, its damp atmosphere is a catalyst for her art creation. Innumerable conflicts I felt here gave rise to my serial pieces “Life Scenery” and “Absent Scenery”. I pay attention to the relation between the familiar objects of my surroundings and my past works made with an attempt to create a situation of existence intentionally.     When my studio is felt unfamiliar all of a sudden, this unfamiliarity is more than that I can feel from an unfamiliar thing or place. My studio is conditioned by the fixed things and space. I intend to represent bilaterally crossing objects with these factors and an active flow behind them.     Conveying both individual and social meanings, my familiar things(objects, space, previous works) have something to do with one another but occasionally reject or entangled with each other. They at last turn to an uncertain being, losing their solid realistic meaning.     Discovered in the complex process of modern man’s thinking are fragments of and clashes with realistic desires and unstable diversity. This process appears to be endlessly moving toward something weird and inexistent so far. My work can be referred to as a paranoiac journey to seek the uncertainty and flexibility of a landscape, trying to find its identity. _Artist statement, Hyeja 2007

Songungallery, Seoul 2007

The 3rd Solo Exhibition,  "Flowing behind", 16.11~30.11.2006, Stone&Water gallery, Anyang, Korea







Hyeja’s work has featured generation and chaos brought up in a boundary and extremely tactile objects floating somewhere. Her picture itself appears as an image, repetitive gestures, is made through the accumulation of lines, and looks like neurons or electric wire bundles, placing in a dual, ambiguous sphere. Hyeja’s concern lies in the boundary between each situation. Hyeja’s work has been to plainly unveil her intense gestures between certainty and ambiguity. 

Her work is an edged landscape itself of life and consciousness, not an artistic rendition. That is also a contrastive work that has tried consistently to represent something impossible to express. Through lines, one of the most fundamental elements of painting, the artist has focused primarily on conveying meanings, endeavoring to attain their possibility to the full. Full of color areas and lines entirely over the canvas, Hyeja’s work is obviously an evocation of something that is formless or no formless in a respect. Regardless, that shows the canvas filled with nothing but weird distortions and spread. Here the lines spread like blood vessels between colors and planes. The canvas is packed with the twisted, distorted images of a specific landscape and the mutations created by a new melding of diverse shapes. That looks like a space provoking phobias. 
Hyeja’s work shows the process of new generation, including the process of combining, deconstructing, and rearranging new creations. The artist produces mutations and hybrids through a combination of heterogeneous elements. She creates new structures and enjoys the possibility of alteration by collecting and dismantling her neighboring structures. 

The structures are in a state that weird energies and instincts flow. They are something fluid not solid or something nomad, just filling up an empty space. Her painting is like a representation of chaotic landscapes, suggesting that something happens and goes on. The artist explains her own painting as follows: “I have an affinity to the process of pursuing something that is likely to happen but does not yet. I think no correct answer in painting. That’s’ why I feel attracted to painting. My painting is thus following a premonition that something will happen.” I like this assertion. In this statement, I think, all of the features and themes of her work are presented. 

_By Park Young-Taik, Art Critic















“It seems that in labor there is a hill on which to lean on which still endures the time of running away without a destination.”

For me, painting is work, life, struggle, and creation.

The beginning of my work is embodied through the process of piling up and erasing countless lines of intangible structures in conjunction with the desolate and heterogeneous psychological state or the desolateness felt in the dry winter landscape intertwined with the living but dead.

It is not a logical process to find hidden truths or meanings, but rather a trial and error created by countless blind but inevitable, minor and unconscious incidents, and it is a process itself that cannot be completed indefinitely as it evolves in various ways.

_From work notes,  Hyeja, 2004

.....Image of her pictures primarily reminds us of woodbines that are on the
     border of life and death, but also reminds of optical cables that were laid artificially or nervous clusters. It emphasizes 'Creation' rather than 'Existence'. They are not the firm objects that implies the essential truth or meaning, but the processes themselves that created itself by compiling each other objects. This creation is rather the process of expulsion of meanings than logical process. Screen by those processes seems like a battlefield, rather than a magnificent monument. By this fact, her picture is 'Text' rather than 'Artwork' in Barthes's view. Text is not a fixed meaning, but it has unlimited structures and multi-linguistic. Performing plays by unlimited dynamic, lines like code create various meanings
      Like when we become seized by our own lamentations while we cry, 혜자‘s work starts from some emotions like tangle or desolation from intricate woodbines, but as the process develops, the starting point and the ending point disappears suddenly. Flow of lines that rushes blindly but inevitably does not decide an object or a meaning but does remain itself. Her paintings can be related to modernism in this point. Only unlimited covering exists in her intricate lines. No core, secret, constant truths exist. That means, if we remove all of the huge flows and loaves of lines that capture our attention, there will not be any cores remain. But this blank is never a meaningless play. It is related to creativity of the art.
    Hyeja ‘s picture in that starting and ending became dim and only endless process remained, finally indicates that the work is endless start. In this unstoppable flow, work moves into another time. It guides us to the point where we lose time, or to the solitude from the absent of time. Artistic language from this process becomes 'Language that is temporary and subordinate, and eager to complete itself by original experience, not by any normal method(Blanchot)'. It eradicates all immediate curiosity or finality, but it is the free act that can absorb all existence by this external movement. So painting gains relation to the total conscious.
      Especially the space of work consisted of lines emphasizes the power of durability. This durability is a motion to the work itself, to seek for the origin rather than a motion to something, so the work becomes a space of imaginary. As Blanchot pointed, this language does not demand to reproduce existing reality, but demand to produce the truth in free and constant development. Art is the necessary relation that is stricter but pure, springy, free than the relation by logics and reasons. Art is not a certain and conclusive subject, nor the sum of all shapes, nor the type that can be analyzed. It is the thing that has never been discovered nor proved nor justified, only can be approached by detour.
      In this point of view, art does not exist somewhere already. We should re-find or re-create it always. Work created by this method is just a fiction, but it is united to another world that is paralleled to real world so it substitutes in part and illuminates real world. Finally, 혜자‘s work gains relation to the death-essential, ultimate experience-that all of life including art march for, by endless process of disappearing. The lines approach to the space of death through soundless shouting, silent whirlwind. Meeting her death in life constantly by this approach, she tends to express that cannot be expressed in this ambiguous field. But it is not an aesthetic death. It is related to positive force of art that 'start to sing a song of life by the fascination of death(Blanchot).'
....Out of 2nd exhibition   review by Lee Sun Young (Art Critic)


The 2nd Solo Exhibition,  Landscape of non-existence,  27.05 - 05.06.2004     Kepco plaza Gallery, Seoul
















Roots and stems are intertwined here and there like a 'mountain'. Mansusan arrowroot' is spread out in a magnificent landscape.

Numerous tubes show the flow of energy between living things and the environment that governs their life and death. So, living or dead, the 'traces of life' are contained in the interdependent aspect. Just like the wind of time on an old man's face...

 This unfamiliar plant world does not simply remain in primitive nature. It can also be read as an analogy between the network society-ecology-ecosystem and modern people who have already settled in the second nature beyond human rational control.

_By Lee Sun Young(Art Critic), 2000


The 1st, Solo Exhibition,  Landscape ,  05.07 - 11.07.2000     Dukwon Gallery, Seoul

2000 덕원갤러리 1회 개인전 장면.jpg
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