[YU JINYOUNG] Koelnischer Rundschau Newspaper Reviews YU JINYOUNG' S SOLO EXHIBITION AT CHOI & LAGER GALLERY

[YU JINYOUNG] Koelnischer Rundschau Newspaper Reviews YU JINYOUNG' S SOLO EXHIBITION AT CHOI & LAGER GALLERY

Profoundly Sad and Perfectly Engrossed

Choi & Lager Gallery presents the works of Korean artist, Jinyoung Yu.

Choi & Lager Gallery, which opened its doors in November 2012, presents one of the most fascinating exhibitions currently on show in Cologne. The lifelike, yet totally self-absorbed masks of Jinyoung Yu emerge from the darkened gallery space. These masks appear glasslike although they are actually made of plastic. Colorful legs and shoes emerge with the same haptic quality as the faces. A new variation of far eastern Pop Art?

The cuffs and patterns of the stockings are painted as corresponding designs on the lap dogs and cats.

Everything appears staged and artificial, yet we succumb to the profoundly sad expression in the faces and eyes that have the appearance of glass eyes. 'I am OK' is the title of this exhibition featuring figures, photos and drawings, all about beauty but also about calling into question whether these masks have the capacity to deepen sadness whilst bringing to light the truth.

One Woman holds a yellow pyrethrum daisy in front of her. The pattern of the flower is repeated on her face. However, the flower on her face looks more like a bruise than some kind of decoration and, due to the dark ocher hue, implies an injury. The dog’s snout features the same design.

A child is standing next to an impeccably beautiful mother decorated with beautiful peony flowers. Yet the little girl’s nose is a touch too red and her eyes are swollen red indicating tearfulness. Four string puppets dangle cheerlessly the child’s side. These are four exact copies of her perfectly peony-decorated mother. Their legs are slightly turned inward and intertwined. It increases the stability of a sculpture but, at the same time, highlights the introversion and self-consciousness implicated in such an overadaptation. We are automatically reminded of the excessive demands on achievement in countries like Japan and China as well as in the emerging Korea where the artist, herself aspiring to perfection in her work, was born in 1977 in Seoul and later studied at the Sungshin Women’s Institute.

Jinyoung Yu’s exquisite craftsmanship results in a flawless mastering of the materials, and equally perfectly engrossed are the faces captured as masks in her series of photographs. They are reminiscent of the masks of the Noh theater. As if emerging from glossy black lacquer they approach the viewer from the deep black glossy background of the photos.

Who’s OK now? The question is obvious, less obvious, however, is the answer.

Heidrun Wirth
Until 7 September 2013,
Open Wednesday to Friday, 11­–1pm and 2­–6pm, Saturdays 12­–4pm.
Address: Wormser Strasse 23, 50677 Köln

The Prices are around 12,000 Euro for Sculptures and 1200 Euro for Photos.

Choi & Lager Gallery, which opened its doors in November 2012, presents one of the most fascinating exhibitions currently on show in Cologne. The lifelike, yet totally self-absorbed masks of Jinyoung Yu emerge from the darkened gallery space. These masks appear glasslike although they are actually made of plastic. Colorful legs and shoes emerge with the same haptic quality as the faces. A new variation of far eastern Pop Art?

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