From the Series 'Eight Universes & The Machine'
Paint on Silk, 120 cm x 90 cm.
Hun Kyu : "Working within the tradition of Korean silk painting, I craft precise allegorical pictures, employing a range of political, contemporary, and art-historical references and influences. I build intricate stories about an imaginary world which are analogies for my interpretation and reflections on the very real recent political situation in South Korea and its startling transformation since the stamping out of a corrupt regime.
I inherit the spirit of the Candle Light Revolution of South Korea in 2017. This Revolution was the most successful, stable and peaceful way to achieve a contemporary democracy in South Korea, after a turbulent overcoming of its corrupt dictatorial history.
For Eight Universes and The Machine, I have painstakingly created eight parallel universes across eight paintings, comprising four seasons : night and day. Numerous hybrid animals within each painting symbolise a social status such as scholar, artist and labourer. The worlds I create are imagined to be controlled by one huge machine – neoliberal capitalism – which has been the dominant and increasingly pervasive economic system of the contemporary world since the late 1970s. The paintings in Eight Universes and The Machine critically expose how neoliberalism functions insidiously in our societies today, and how its subjects (we citizens) unknowingly participate in its operation to our own disadvantage.
I borrow diverse cultural references such as pop culture, SF films, cartoons, or even historical facts - rebuilding my imaginary world where a strict boundary between the myth and the reality becomes diluted. Therefore, I define myself as a storyteller.
Each story is working as an independent entity, but shares a common world full of imagination, making another narrative. Each story reflects on the barbarism hidden behind the seemingly innocuous material affluence of contemporary society where Capitalism and Neoliberalism have become a form of religion."