SUMARRIA LUNN GALLERY is proud to present a solo exhibition of work by Yun-Kyung Jeong - Our opening exhibition in our new location.
Axonometry has played a part in artistic practice for centuries. In essence, it means to 'skew' perspective. Now an invaluable tool for engineers, axonometric projection involves showing an object or structure in orthographic projection; foreshortening each plane of the viewing surface so they can be observed in relation to one another. With a power to fortify our perception of the world around us, in its most basic form axonometric perspective taps into our desire to see more, touch more, experience more. While much of Yun Kyung Jeong's work draws on the application of axonometry it is this broader motivation to unveil new realms to the viewer that can be found throughout her work. These are landscapes, but in the loosest sense of the word.
Jeong's paintings are best understood as representations of utopia; repetition and space are Jeong's play things in these worlds. Constructed from the duplication of a single recognisable, yet slightly amorphous motif, her canvases are teaming with shapes and structures that seem to move or flow over one another. The forms are ambiguous but undoubtedly create in each case some sense of space, be it natural, architectural or both. Along side flatter, more graphic sections she often uses axonometry to create a mixture of depth and foreshortening that would be impossible in any sense of space as we know it. Unlike Esher, famous for creating prints and drawings of 'impossible' spaces using a similar technique, this element of her work is included not to undermine our understanding of reality but to enhance it.
Whether in collision or cohesion, Jeong's work is also bound up with the meeting of opposites. In her paintings architecture-meets-nature, East-meets-West and tradition-meets-technology. Having studied, worked and exhibited in both England and Korea, her work thrives on the meeting of these two cultural traditions. Looking at a painting viewers might pick out the flowing curve of a waterfall or a tree branch only to realise it could just as easily be the arch or dome of a structure. It is in the ambiguity of the forms in her work that architectural and natural forms collide, but surprisingly this is also where eastern and western philosophies meet. While in the eastern tradition man is seen in harmony with nature, in the west under Christianity man has traditionally been seen as ruling over nature. The architectural forms in Jeong's work are often equally evocative of forms in nature in that they reference Gothic architecture; one of the few western traditions that was intended to harmonise with nature. For Jeong the natural is utopian, but this does not mean the exclusion of architecture.
Axonometric Jungle is seemingly forged of climbing plants and flying buttresses, towering spires and the bows of entwined tree branches: a fusion that is given voice through intricate patterns of Jeong's recognisable single motif. Its warped perspectives enlighten the viewer to a complex maze of twisting forms which like waterfalls seem to flow impossibly through the space. One of the artist's new works, Axonometric Jungle has broached a new realm of colour, bringing in earthly reds and sky blues alongside her characteristic monochromatic topiary-like constructions. Alongside her leaf-like motif are now tiles and planes that cut new levels of geometric complexity across the structures in her work. Each cluster of new shapes has appeared organically, and with the spontaneity of application that has remained the central thread to her work.
A further set of subtle experiments has seen digital technology meet more traditional modes of painting in Jeong's latest work. While her paintings are predominantly executed on un-primed canvas, these new digital and painted works use Microfibre, a fine woven vivid white fabric as a base. This material allows Jeong to explore further the idea of repetition. While repetition of a motif or form by hand has a certain aesthetic (due to the margin of human error) the digital repetition of a painted form is absolute and exact creating a very different feel. In this new strand she employs 'work outside of the work'; separate, smaller paintings created independently of the canvas. These miniature compositions are photographed and digitally edited, then steam-printed onto the Microfibre to form a tiled background. This printed surface is then completed with a further layer of hand painting. This combination of different aesthetics of repetition, caused by the meeting of tradition and technology, creates a new hybrid style.
Yun-Kyung Jeong is a graduate of Ewha University (Seoul), Slade School of Fine Art and Goldsmiths. Solo exhibitions include The Song Am Culture Foundation/OCI Museum, Seoul (2010). Groups shows include KIAF ' Korea International Art Fair, with SUMARRIA LUNN//Hanmi Gallery, Seoul (2010), Invisible Bond, Korean Cultural Centre, London (2010), T-R-A-C-E, Shan Hyu Museum, China (2010), Natural Recurrence, SUMARRIA LUNN, London (2009), Long Nights, William Angel Gallery, London (2008), 4482: Korean Contemporary Art, London (2008), SFA Alsop Architecture, London (2007), MiKi, Gallery Cott, Seoul (2006) and Uterus, Space Achim, Seoul (2005). The artist is recipient of a number of awards incuding the Renaissance Art Prize (2008) and the Foster Fletcher Prize (2008).