Search by

Hojin Lee's works have indirectly projected his own private stories into real life events. The paintings are full of life in that they appear to be feasts of energies with unclear perspectives. The signs that runs all over the canvas represent records of his short travels, agony over his true identity, and questions directed towards god. People familiar with Hojin Lee's work can easily detect the transformation in the current exhibit. Free flowing brush-strokes and strong color schemes are still present in his wall paintings at the exhibition hall. However, in contrast to his earlier works that had himself or his surroundings as beginnings, his current work starts from common understandings among us. Recently, he has been focusing on the ills of capitalism. It appears that his interests and point of view has shifted. The changes are might have been the result of his personal experiences in the past few years and his participation in public works such as "Rest area design for the people in expected demolition areas".

is an exhibition that visualizes ordinary images and individual lifestyles in Seoul and New York through wall paintings and videos. The societal images that have been captured actively reveal the others sides of vibrant cities. The exhibition hall itself appears like a bystreet as its windows are covered with leaflets of advertising materials and the lighting is dark. & captures daily lives of ordinary masses. Not the boring but peaceful daily lives but the daily lives that are about to face hardships. The characters barely satisfy basic needs and constantly struggle with money as some have nominal jobs and others are unemployed. The household is broken up and the kids with nowhere to go hits the streets. The only places that welcome them are nightclubs or other night entertainment establishments that co-exist with churches. The cities' dwellers have long lost the hope of better days and are exhausted with day-to-day existences. They get fatigued on the road to hell that do not have exits.

Among the various aspects of cities, Hojin Lee opted to focus on the inequalities and ills created by capitalistic societies. Yet he has not used direct methods such as documentation. As in , his messages are often suggestive and approach the viewer in an ambiguous manner. The pieces of images that are hard to decipher might incorporate Hojin Lee's wishes there might still be room for love and friendships in the depressed parts of the city mentioned above. The face that are at the center of the painting are not only a portrait of himself but also portrait of all of us that possess various personal issues.

which has been filmed in New York is a collage of snapshots. The images that were captured a few years ago unfold as if to reflect the past at the end of a day or life. The past that can't be re-lived and the inescapable present conditions overlap. It is an ironical moment in that the distance between the two becomes clear and the wall paintings harmonize with the video.

The current exhibition is a turning point that have been intentionally created by the artist. By viewing the paintings that depict confusing realties of contemporary people, I hope both viewers and the artist can experience deeper reflection of their lives.

By Kyungwha Ann / Independent curator
Quick Page Up