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Hansaem Kim, Joohye Moon: Crossover

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Key takeaways

1. A presentation of artworks by two Korean emerging artists, Hansaem Kim and Joohye Moon, both are interested in typical concepts or materials that stem from classic narratives of the subculture

2. The exhibition examines the intersection observed in transforming the independent stories of Hansaem Kim and Joohye Moon into artworks


Aug 24 - Sep 18, 2022






'Crossover' refers to the intermingling of independent genres. This term implies a connected area between different values and focuses on what happens at the point. The exhibition ≪Crossover≫ examines the intersection observed in transforming the independent stories of Hansaem Kim and Joohye Moon into artworks. Kim and Moon are interested in typical concepts or materials that stem from classic narratives of the subculture. The omen of the birth of a new era are perceived, and clichéd iconography becomes a kind of code that evokes wit, humor, or curiosity in the scenes they designed. The strategy of diverting frames of thought and perception scattered in everyday life reflects the typical attitude of the two artists to build an open structure constantly.

In this exhibition, Hansaem Kim intends to construct his fantasy world and achieve the work as a kind of by-product derived from it. He spent quite a long time creating a broader background for himself to gain nutrients that could guarantee infinite production. His story is like a coarse fantasy novel you might have heard somewhere. For example, in <The Death of Cainman>, the seven dragons born from a monster attacked by an angel are made by twisting typical synopsis such as good and evil or birth and death. Kim develops a dense relationship by borrowing narratives or forms familiar to all and then deviates from the stereotype by adding a humorous, peculiar interpretation. By distancing himself from the world he has built, Kim makes various secondary products as a creator in an accessible position. In addition, he freely refers to cultural and artistic clues that are ubiquitous around him. For instance, the collaborated works with Jaehee Kim, <The Birth of Azabel> and <The Birth of Cainman>, completed by combining traditional mosaic techniques with Nicchia, an arched architectural style found on the altar of an ancient temple. It is a case of amplifying the aura and metaphysical meaning of the world he imagines, overlaying the fictional context on the style of tangible cultural heritage.

While Kim sets up a virtual space as a single frame to approach the work, Joohye Moon adapts the structure extracted from classical narrative into an arbitrary form. She attempts to make alternative entries into the various visual indicators that customarily mean good and evil, life and death, brightness and darkness, and so on. The multiple iconographies appearing in the vanitas painting or tarot card translate the direction of life and human emotions. In recent works, the artist reverses the conventional structure of perception. Usually, snakes are crafty, lambs are innocent, and heaven and earth are separated. These clichés are placed inside the exaggerated decorative frame and lose hierarchy in <Air Force>, <Figs>, <Calla Lily Flowers> to give freedom of interpretation. In other words, the figures summoned away from the doctrine are converted into subjective language, representing the perspective of how the artist understands life. The reality Moon faces is not divided into dichotomous criteria but rather a continuation of a cycle in which various values conceive and dissipate in a field where ambiguous values are jumbled up. Therefore, her unrealistic visual descriptions are unfinished and can never be judged through normative interpretation.

The mythical narratives and religious codes that appeared in a sublime and majestic atmosphere become different beings in Kim and Moon's universe. The shapes featured in their work have existed throughout history but recontextualized from an unexpected location. The rhetoric used in their works-deconstruction, exaggeration, and reversal- suggests moving away from what we see here. The unfamiliar senses created by the two artists coexist in the real and the imaginary and become the channel for mediating the cultural language of the past, present, and future.