Hyun-jin Kwak

Nature and culture, East and West, subjects and objects meet in Hyun-Jin Kwak's photo-based art. In her works she lets the potent symbols and myths from her Korean home and childhood reflect and confront the imagery of adult life and the western world.
Exhibition duration:
17-11-2019 - 17-11-2019
Medium:
Title:
Hyun-jin Kwak
Artist:
Nature and culture, East and West, subjects and objects meet in Hyun-Jin Kwak's photo-based art. In her works she lets the potent symbols and myths from her Korean home and childhood reflect and confront the imagery of adult life and the western world. “Girls In Uniform”, an ongoing photographic series since 2003, originated as a form of self-analysis, where Kwak looked at her background from her new vantage point of woman and artist. The large-scale, staged photographs that constitute the series feature uniformed school girls inhabiting urban and natural landscapes. Barren industrial sites mingle with rivers, waterfalls, cliffs, and dense, almost impenetrable greenery setting the stage for tense and slightly threatening teenage episodes, frozen in time. Kwak’s artistic method is rooted in a thorough, almost scientific, approach. Over time the “Girls In Uniform” series has developed into studies of settings where historical and architectural aspects carry increasing importance. It has also become a reflective tool, to look at, and investigate foreign places. Hyun-jin Kwak states: “The uniformed girl somehow came to represent my own foreign perspective and placement and displacement in different geographies of the West, functioning as a Fresh Eye.” Hyun-Jin Kwak first came to Aarhus for in 2015 to scout locations and do the preliminary research for her contribution to FRESH EYES. She returned on a longer residency in 2016 where she carried out the work with staging and shooting the photographs for FRESH EYES.

Bio: Hyun-Jin Kwak (1974) was born in South Korea but lives and works in Stockholm. Her works have been shown both in group and solo exhibitions in most major European exhibition spaces. In Kwak’s artistic projects, the photographed spaces often appear as theatrical sets, dressed and constructed solely for the camera lens. In recent years, the place itself has increasingly been allowed to take center stage. One example is the project The Island, in which the artist engaged in an in-depth investigation of an abandoned and dilapidated palace in the town of Reggio Emilia in Italy. With an almost anthropological approach, she examined the history, meaning and in particular the symbolic and political significance of the place, resulting in an extremely compelling photographic series.

Selected exhibitions:
Galleri Fagerstedt, Stockholm, Sweden, 2016
Kalmar Konstmuseum , Kalmar, Sweden, 2016
ARARIO GALLERY, Seoul, South Korea, 2013
Peter Lav Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2013
Galleri F 15, Moss, Norway 2013
Sven Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden 2012
Fotografins Hus, Stockholm, Sweden, 2012
Technoloplis, Athens, Greece, 2011
Museum Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, Turku Biennial 2011, Turku, Finland, 2011  
Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden, 2009
Platfrom Seoul, Seoul, South Korea, 2009
Haninge Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden, 2009
Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2006
Art Pavilion Zagrab,  Zagrab, Croatia, 2006
Uppsala Konstmuseum, Uppsala, Sweden, 2006  

Publications:
Hyun-Jin Kwak “The Island - A Case Study of a Collectors Mind”, Revolver Publishing
Hyun-Jin Kwak "Study of Elements", Kulturhuset Stockholm Hyun-Jin Kwak “A Script for Verification”, Uppsala Konstmuseum  

Hyun-Jin Kwak’s website: www.hyunjinkwak.com/index.htm