Ji Yoon Hwang captures the dreamlike qualities of natural scenery, summoning viewers into a dark and bleak landscape that arouses fear, anxiety, and delight. In this way, her works stimulate the soul rather than just the eye. These dynamic and intimate feelings distinguish Hwang's work from what she calls "barber shop paintings"-plain, simplistic, and ultimately trivial artwork such as a soft, placid landscape. Such stereotypical works have certain shared characteristics with traditional oriental paintings, however. Both recall the subconscious desires of the viewer, while aiming to put people at ease as they direct their attention elsewhere. Hwang rouses this common conception of an "easy" landscape painting by adding intimidating elements to the formula and transforming the work's feel. The result follows the structure of traditional oriental art, but using Western techniques. Hwang invites viewers to dive into her works and imagine their own deceptively complex emotional landscapes.
Enter Nowhere - <Forest of Dreams>
- 388cm x 391cm
As if capturing the beauty of twilight, a luminous palette of deep greys and icy blues envelop Ji Yoon Hwang’s canvases. Yet the perpetual darkness of these works brings with it something more sinister as the artist explores themes of fear and anxiety. This sense of the uncanny is no better experienced than in ‘White Eyed 16’, where ominous pairs of eyes lurk amongst the foliage. Fusing the structure of traditional Oriental art with Western techniques, Yoon Hwang invites the viewer to voyage into these complex emotional landscapes.