Dream and vision collide in exhibits exploring identity

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Dream and vision collide in exhibits exploring identity


“breik” by Hyunsoo Kim is about childhood dreams and turning the mythological being into the real. Provided by Gallery Hyundai

Time stands still at Gallery Hyundai. A boy with deer antlers on his head resists growing into an adult by breaking them until they bleed. The sculpture by artist Kim Hyun-soo expresses his desire to revisit his childhood, to go back to the memories and dreams of those times.

After all, a boy is destined to become an adult, as the dream of eternal childhood is lost.

But why antlers? Male deer develop their antlers as they grow and use them to defend themselves and attract female deer. Fully grown horns would signify internal and external growth into an adult, the theme expressed by Kim in “breik,” which the artist describes as an external expression of his persona.

Realistic details as pores and capillary vessels are cast in polyester resin to resemble the human body, evoking a kind of hyper-realism.

“The boy’s hair and eyebrows were implanted one by one, instead of a wig,” said curator Koh Hee-kyung.

Beneath the neutral exterior, however, the artist embraces his subjective vision, inviting spectators to enter his thoughts.

Things are different on the floor above. In an exhibition by Byen Ung-Pil, size doesn’t seem to matter. On display are two versions of the same portrait series, with one version four times larger than the other. But both small and big “copies” are originals.

To create the images, Byen willfully distorted his face in many clever ways, thereby challenging our habitual reading of a face, and ultimately inviting us to reflect on the concept of identity.

The exhibition continues through April 26 at Gallery Hyundai in southern Seoul. Apgujeong subway station, line No. 3, exit 2. For more information call the gallery on (02) 519-0800 or visit www.galleryhyundai.com.

By Kathy Yang Contributing Writer [estyle@joongang.co.kr]
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