Angell Gallery in Toronto is pleased to present “Uniformitarian Principle,” the first solo exhibition by new gallery artist and current OCAD student, Min Hyung.
Drawing from the energy of the unpredictable yet inevitable geological events that contour the earth, Min Hyung’s spontaneous/logical paintings address the indelible links between our past and the present. Like tectonic plates, the varied layers of paint shift over one another, creating rumblings and disturbances, constructing and deconstructing spaces and depths. Each layer—whether composed of fine, linear drawings; thin washes of colour; or chunky, generous dabs of paint—alternately emerges or disappears in relation to one another. Among these shifting layers lies an exploration of the evolution of need and an awareness of how these emergent desires alter our environment.
Hyung describes her brightly coloured paintings as worlds of motion, flux, shifting languages—old and new—and contemporary references that are evolving and finding new translations. The canvases speak both to physical structures and to the foundations upon which contemporary society is built: the desire for and pursuit of protection, of secure living spaces. The sprawling villas, the cars, the idle times by the poolside, she suggests, are gestures back to humanity’s long-fought odyssey for comfort and shelter. Deploying these contemporary visual references—architecture, luxury commodities—Hyung’s paintings are concerned with space and how space can describe us individually or collectively, as a culture.
The most striking element to Hyung’s work is perhaps the vibrant populations of her signature “blobs” which undulate through paintings like Oe Island or Where is "In the line of fire playing" in glossy waves. The blobs operate as a language through which the viewer is invited to navigate and resolve the painting: they form sentences, statements, and stories; they play against each other, humming, conflicting, stimulating, and unifying in a gestalt of colour. Ultimately, each bright marble of paint relates to one another individually and communally; they each require space, have their own evolutionary needs, and yet exist necessarily within a collective.
In Blow Spaces Away From The Whirling Blades of The Fan and The Curtain Rises, the blobs are openly connected to the individual; they exist within the sinuous outlines of swimming and diving female figures. The contrast of these organic figural lines with sharply geometric architectural lines references our longing to exist within a golden mean of carefully articulated spaces. In the end, Hyung’s vivid and shifting picture planes address the search for a balance in our environmental desires. We exist simultaneously within our own bubbles of physical and psychological space as well as within the spaces needed to be part of a collective culture and society.
Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Min Hyung is a Toronto-based artist.