Annual Emerging Artists Exhibit 2024

<Wavy Wave>

15 February - 16 March, 2024

In partnership with AIF Art Management under the direction of Kim Yoon-sub, HORI Artspace is pleased to present the first themed exhibition “Wavy Wave.” This exhibition marks the beginning of the new year, showcasing the creative endeavors of young artists from the Millennial and Gen-Z, often referred to as the MZ generation in South Korea. This new generation encompasses individuals born following periods of military regime or the democratization era. This newly coined term, utilized in South Korea, signifies the Millennial generation (M generation), born between 1981 and the early to mid-1990s, as well as Generation Z, born from the mid to late 1990s to the early 2000s. Simultaneously, this generation serves as a bridge between the analog and digital eras.

In general, distinct generational differences are observed in how individuals derive enjoyment from daily life and approach their way of thinking. Variances in upbringing and environmental factors exert a considerable influence on the sensibilities that shape their perspectives and evaluations of society. Instead of focusing on collective or societal needs, individuals with this tendency tend to prioritize their own interests and are more attuned to practical and instinctual consumer cultures rather than future-oriented ideologies. Would this inclination also extend to artists who convey their language visually with heightened sensitivity?

The ≪Wavy Wave≫ exhibition features 11 artists, including Atchalinee Kesornsook (b. 1978), Ko Seo-yeon (b. 1993), Kim Seo-yeon (b. 2000), Park Sin-yeob (b. 1985), Oh Ye-jin (b. 1997), Yoo Ki-joo (b. 1987), Lee Chan-young (b. 1997), Lee Hui-eun (b. 1998), Chung Ziah (b. 1999), Jung Ji-yong (b. 1999), and Cho Hyeon-jung (b. 1987). The invited artists consist of those born from the mid-1980s to the 2000s. They present a wide spectrum of works that aim to interpret society and everyday life through their original sensibilities.

In the first place, Yoo Ki-joo and Lee Hui-eun address themes related to the interconnectedness within human society. Yoo Ki-joo's artwork is distinguished by her melancholic monochromatic drawing technique, which emphasizes the contrasting interplay of light and shadow. The artist boldly explores life's absurdities by focusing on the often invisible, "floating" narratives that surround us. On the other hand, Lee Hui-eun's paintings exhibit both dynamics and vibrancy. They evoke a sense of a virtual realm, describing extras such as NPC (Non-Player Characters) that merely serve as background elements in a game, encouraging viewers to imagine the narratives of others.

Even the same natural subject matter can bring a different emotion depending on the artist's perspective and chosen techniques of expression. For example, Ko Seo-yeon draws inspiration from the landscape of her hometown, surrounded by expansive fields and trees and sparsely populated areas. In her artwork, she metaphorically captures her feelings of solitude by illustrating fruits spilling out “with a clatter” from a seemingly abandoned plastic box amidst the lush backdrop of the field, evoking a warm sense of nostalgia. Nonetheless, Jung Ji-yong captures the sense of comfort and coziness found in quotidian moments using an ink wash and coloring technique that combines jangji paper with pulp paper on canvas. 

In a similar composition setting, the utilization of empty space has the potential to evoke distinct nuances. Atchalinee Kesornsook, a native of Bangkok who spent her high school years in London, UK, and pursued studies in Washington, USA, produced portrait paintings reminiscent of the style of passport photographs set against expansive blank space. The portrait renders an ambiguous girl-woman figure with a blend of Eastern and Western features, her gaze directly engaging the viewer. The surrounding empty space invites the viewer's imagination to roam freely. Cho Hyeon-jung positions a cat at the focal point of the artwork. The exquisite portrayal of the cat's tender and detailed traits is truly remarkable. Additionally, the spacious background is adorned with diverse patterns and motifs, incorporating a harmonious fusion of disparate elements.

Oh Ye-jin adeptly manifests how the placement of empty space can alter the visual dynamics. In artworks devoid of empty space, despite picturing a face, there's a sense of linkage between the external world (reality) and the mind, creating a single sensory experience. This accentuates the depth where the boundless realm approaches the unconscious abyss. Meanwhile, Chung Ziah employs the meticulous Gongbi painting (工筆畫) technique, a traditional style often associated with national painting in China, to depict women. This approach features a successful balance between expansive empty space and creative patterns.

Moreover, there are also elements exploring virtual or imaginary sensory realms. Kim Seo-yeon enriches layers of depth and dimension by translating light images sourced from the virtual world of the internet, particularly those consumed online, into tangible paintings. Through her depiction of the cycle of samsara, Park Sin-yeob metaphorically likens life to “a journey for the maturation of the soul in a world akin to an amusement park.” Meanwhile, Lee Chan-young's unreal “fairies” metaphorically represent “human figures in pursuit of their desires in diverse manners.”

In this context, the ≪Wavy Wave≫ exhibition offers a valuable opportunity to perceive the varied and expansive sensibilities of Millennials and Gen-Z. I anticipate that the joy of uncovering novelty within the comfort of everyday life will resonate with the sensibilities of each viewer. Every two years, HORI Artspace collaborates with curatorial sponsorship and discovery of emerging artists at the beginning of the year. As part of this endeavor, the ≪Wavy Wave≫ exhibition stands out as particularly noteworthy. I earnestly hope that you will take a keen interest and offer strong support to the 11 invited emerging artists, encouraging them to blaze trails with new dreams and visions based on their creative worlds full of originality.

* Hosted  and Directed by HORI Artspace, AIF Art Management 

* Sponsored by AIF Children, ONE MEDICS INDUSTRY

Installation Views


Related Artists

ATCHALINEE, Cho Hyeon Jung, Chung Ziah, 

Kim Seo Yeon, Lee Chan Young, Lee Hui Eun, 

Oh Ye Jin, Park Sin Yeob, Yoo Ki Joo