REFLECTIVE CITY @UNC Gallery
with works by Hyeja

HyeJa is a painter whose works gather inspiration from the bustling, crowded places in our urban lives. She focuses on formlessness and the supposed lack of agency that our current capitalistic systems provide us. Think of the contradictories a city might include: fear and enjoyment, space and suffocation, familiarity and alienation. Her artwork depicts blurred scenes of shifting landscapes in the places she has lived to visualize these thoughts.

"Streets, arcades, squares and central stations, the places in a constant state of flux where people ceaselessly gather and disperse, are the main inspiration for my work. These places are symbolic of everyday life in cities ruled by a capitalistic system, in which their spectacular transitory nature sees situations happen then disappear. I focus on the invisible, formless energy, endlessly evolving and surrounded by the images and symbols of contemporary cities. A city is an assembly of artificiality that modern people feel more intimacy for than nature. It blinds us with joy and vitality, but at the same time fills us with fear, confusion, nervousness, and a sense of detachment. I see the city as an ecstatic landscape where the present and the past shift and swirl, and in my paintings I attempt to capture this vital movement. As reference I collect images, shifting, and assembling them based on my own bodily experience. By using landscapes of city in Seoul , Berlin and Leipzig, where I used to live, as references of my work, I try to visualize an illusion which is an accumulated form of an invisible energy. An energy that is generated from endless desires and temptations fusing and dividing people, and making them repeat the creative evolutionary process, where social and economic relationships cause the inexorable duel sidedness of the city." -Hyeja

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