Open: Tue-Sat 11am-5pm

11 & 25-28 Old Burlington Street, W1S 3AN, London, United Kingdom
Open: Tue-Sat 11am-5pm


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Yooyun Yang: Passing Time

Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

Thu 1 Jun 2023 to Sat 22 Jul 2023

11 & 25-28 Old Burlington Street, W1S 3AN Yooyun Yang: Passing Time

Tue-Sat 11am-5pm

Artist: Yooyun Yang

Private view: Wednesday 31 May, 6pm-8pm

Stephen Friedman Gallery presents South Korean artist Yooyun Yang’s first solo exhibition in Europe.

Yang’s atmospheric and enigmatic paintings are cloaked in darkness and explore the emotional states of people; with scenes conveying existential thoughts and feelings of solitude. Yang frequently conceals faces and subtly captures intimate moments. By using shadow and composition to create distance between the viewer and the subject, the artist articulates a sense of isolation in what she describes as this ‘age of anxiety’.

Objects are fundamental to Yang’s practice, with motifs of blinds, curtains and railings frequently appearing. By repositioning them through her otherworldly gaze, objects appear increasingly foreign.

Yang’s practice is emotionally charged and simultaneously calm. Through a careful treatment of light, her paintings are contemplative: lurking in between the real and the imagined. A hazy, cinematic quality pervades the work and suggests the paintings’ photographic origins. The artist takes her own photographs and from them maps out her compositions. Yang’s snapshot style reveals overlooked details such as marks and folds on the skin and creases in fabric.

The artist paints on Hanji paper, traditional Korean handmade paper made from mulberry tree bark. Yang builds up layers of diluted acrylic to control the intensity of the colour. Speaking of her paintings, Yang said ‘I want my works to be like a thorn in your mind that pricks from time to time, or like a very gentle fever.’

Yang lives and works in Seoul, Korea. Born in 1985, Yang studied Oriental Painting at Sungshin Women’s University in Seoul. The artist has had multiple solo exhibitions in Seoul including at Chapter II; Amado Art Space/Lab; Gallerylux; OCI Museum of Art; Gallery SoSo and Ccot+Incubator. She has also had solo exhibitions at Gallery Bundo in Deagu and Heyri Art Village in Paju.

In 2022 Yang was included in the 58th Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and in 2021 she was included in the 8th Chongkundang Yesuljisang at Sejong Museum of Art, Seoul. The artist has also been included in group exhibitions at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Cheongju and Arko Art Center, Seoul. She has carried out residencies at Korea National University of Arts, Seoul; Chapter II, Seoul; Studio White Lock, Cheonan; Gyeonggi Creation Center, Ansan-si and Incheon Art Platform, Incheon, Korea.

Yooyun Yang, 'Manhole', 2022. Acrylic on Korean paper, 150 x 210cm (59 x 82 5/8in). Copyright Yooyun Yang. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

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