: Hyon Gyon
Hyon Gyon (b. 1979, Korea) draws inspiration from the Korean shamanistic ritual of Gut (Exorcism). Through this ritual, Korean ancestors would often face harsh reality and pray for better lives. The sentiments expressed during this ritual, such as obsession over life, fear of darkness, and the desire for something that is not in one’s possession, are often thought of as ugly. But through the violent extraction of these emotions they transcend ugliness, becoming ironic and almost laughable. This explosion of suppressed negative energy is a pivotal aspect of Hyon Gyon’s work. Otherworldly figures with wild hair and sharp swords float within shadowy backgrounds. Emotions are depicted as colorful rainbows as they burst from within figures. Pictures of everyday objects pop up as they would within a memory. Happiness, ugliness and pleasure collide and harmonize within these enigmatic pieces, providing one a place where he or she can find new possibility within the darkness. Hyon Gyon is based in New York, U.S.A. She received her B.A. from Mokwon University in Korea and her M.A. and Ph.D from Kyoto City University of Arts in Japan. She had one-person and group exhibitions at the Museum of Kyoto, Kyoto, in 2006; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, in 2007 and 2010; Kyoto Art Center, Kyoto, in 2011; Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, in 2012; and Shin Gallery, New York, in 2013. Hyon Gyon’s work is in the collection of the Museum of Kyoto, Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, the Kyoto City University of Arts, and Takahashi Collection, among others. The artist received several fellowships and awards, including the Asao Kato Interna¬tional Scholarship and the Tokyo Wonder Wall Competition Prize.