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Yeonjin Oh: Tweed

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Key takeaways

1. A solo presentation of Korean artist, Yeonjin Oh whose work is based on materials needed for photographic work

2. Oh's practice mainly focused on the meta-question of whether it could function as a dynamic subject with moving energy beyond the transient state of the image on the physical film


Nov 23 - Dec 18, 2022






Yeonjin Oh deals with abstract images created based on materials needed for photographic work. The shapes are expressed at the point where the material conditions acting on the photograph, such as photographic paper, photosensitive emulsion, and light intensity overlap with the digital environment's geometric patterns. Oh's work mainly focused on the meta-question of whether it could function as a dynamic subject with moving energy beyond the transient state of the image on the physical film. However, in this exhibition, many titles of the works imply phenomena of nature, the universe, ecology, and the atmosphere. It may be an attempt to replace the potential of the images with more metaphorical landscapes.

In this context, the exhibition is curated to underline the unrealistic and magical traces left by the tactile and physical practices she actually mobilized can be discovered while fully considering that Oh's work is based on the conceptual overthrow of photography. The moments of nature, like the twinkling of the night sky as if multiple gravities had worked, the texture of the clouds scattering like bubbles, and the thickness of the fog blocking the eyes became paintings on photographic paper with those titles: Colors of the Air, Clouds, Uncountable Spring. Although there is no specific landscape or form, the patterns and random scattering of liquids revealed through the panorama of vivid colors create a scene that does not exist in reality.

Of course, the basis of this strange landscape meticulously reflects the new possibilities of the photograph Oh has set. Just as the exhibition title is 'tweed', the picture is like a piece of fabric with thickness and texture for her, even though it is usually considered as a smooth and flat plane compared to other paintings and sculptures. If the photo is woven with several thicknesses of thread, it could be a raw material that someone can cut according to its use or function. Oh decided to show certain pieces by cutting lots of photographic paper that had been photosensitive. The free cutting and grafting of unstructured subjects that accidentally appeared through various processes may be a natural choice for a contemporary artist who recognizes and consume photographs flooding in the digital media environment.

Oh's work is expanding its scope as a formative language that can settle the attributes of real objects and beings on photographic paper and encourage the possibility of unbounded thinking. As she looks at photography in more flexibly and three-dimensionally, we might use something other than the word 'photography' to describe her work. The viewer will be able to swim freely between her non-representational images that allow us to imagine the weather and scenery encountered one day, beyond the astuteness of meta-analysis on alternative methodologies of photography.