: Hyon Gyon
Hyon Gyon draws inspiration from the Korean shamanistic ritual of Gut (exorcism). It is thought that through this ritual, ancestors face harsh realities and strive for better lives. The feelings expressed during this ritual, such as obsessive fear and acquisitive desire, are often perceived as ugly. However, through the violent extraction of these emotions, they are believed to 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. Unpalatable emotions are depicted as colorful rainbows bursting from within figures. Everyday objects pop up as they would within memory. Happiness, ugliness, and pleasure collide and harmonize within these enigmatic pieces. Hyon Gyon is based in New York, U.S. She received her B.A. from Mokwon University in Korea and her M.A. and PhD 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 included in the collections of the Museum of Kyoto, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, the Kyoto City University of Arts, and the Takahashi Collection, among others. She has received several fellowships and awards, including the Asao Kato International Scholarship and the Tokyo Wonder Wall Competition Prize.