Sanghwan BYUN
(b. 1986, Korea)
Sanghwan BYUN is an artist interested in everyday objects, particularly those that make up our environment. He is inspired by representative pieces of Korea in the 21st century, such as bricks from residential areas and green waterproof paint found on rooftops. Although we tend to overlook these objects during our daily routines, Byun believes that they emanate our stories and are worth giving a second look.

Byun’s early works included sculptures of soju bottles, dated furniture, and rubber gloves amongst other shapes. These pieces challenged the traditional medium of sculpture by altering its aesthetic appearance, as well as its physical structure. In his most recent series, the artist continues his interest in bold colors by utilising a red, anticorrosive paint. To create elaborate patterns, Byun stamps industrial beams onto paper, several of which weigh up to 40kg. He then rotates them between 0.5 to 1.5 centimeters, forming a continuous line of stamped images. The result is a concentrated area of elegant, fan-like patterns. By unifying these industrial items in his artistic process, Byun challenges previous notions of their histories and usage. Additionally, the beauty of the finished piece is intuitively reminiscent of the artist’s physical labor.

Sanghwan Byun was born in 1986 in Daegu, Korea. He earned his BFA and MFA in Plastic Arts from the Seoul National University of Science and Technology in 2012 and 2015, respectively. Byun began his professional career with his first group exhibition at the KT&G Sangsang Madang Gallery in Seoul. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions held in Korea since 2011, including recognized galleries such as the Seoul Museum of Art, Galleryis, and the Sejong Cultural Center. He has held two solo exhibitions in Seoul, with the most recent taking place at Space So in 2018.

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