Yeesookyung: "FLAME": Yeesookyung


Ota Fine Arts is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of Yeesookyung, the Korean artist's first in Singapore. She has been showing a rich variety of conceptual works, and "Flame" comprises a series of ceramic sculptures, scroll paintings and cinnabar drawings on Korean paper.

From ceramics villages throughout Korea, Yeesookyung collects their discarded remains to piece together fragments of ceramic wastage flawed in the eyes of master potters. They acquire a new hue by the artist's hand: she reassembles these Translated Vases by gilding them with fine 24 carat gold leaf. These sculptural montages are freed from specific historical referents, genres or conventions. The bulbous vases become highly suggestive: they may be the ample, elegant curves of a woman's body, or the contorted abstractions of pain. By allowing these newly configured ceramics to depart from the bounds of their native Korean ceramic cultures, Yeesookyung's transformation of their form yields to a translation into the experimental and the contemporary.

With Translated Vases and other works, Yeesookyung remains near to the art historical heritage of her home peninsula, while she speaks to it with new perspective. Her Flame Variation scroll paintings are engendered from the Goguryeo tomb paintings found in North Korea, but their mythologies are redrawn into fantastical amalgams of Judeo-Christian and Eastern religious iconography.

But despite this sometimes light-hearted play with multiple allusions, an austere sense of spirituality is conserved at the very heart of Yeesookyung's work. With her cinnabar Flame drawings, the artist's process is bound to the ground--she has completed the series on her knees. Yeesookyung has likened this way of drawing to bowing in penitence or prayer, and perhaps some spiritual energy may be evinced by the pulsations and wave lengths emanating from the bronzed flames.

Yeesookyung's ardent devotion to her work is indeed unparalleled in Korea, and Ota Fine Arts is delighted to present her solo exhibition in Gillman Barracks, Singapore.

Born in 1963 in Korea, Yeesookyung studied painting at the College of Fine Arts of the National University in Seoul, where she continues to work today. She has since completed residencies at Villa Arson, Apex Art and the Bronx Museum, and her work has been shown globally at the 6th Gwangju Biennale (2006), ARCO 07, the 5th Liverpool Biennial (2008), the 2009 Vancouver Biennale and the 2010 Busan Biennale. Most recently, Yeesookyung has been featured in notable exhibitions including "Women In-Between: Asian Women Artists 1984-2012" at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, the "2012 Korea Art Prize" at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, and "The Collectors Show: Weight of History" at the Singapore Art Museum.