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Hyun Kyung Ryu
Lonely City

April 3rd ~ 23rd, 2009
Opening Reception 4/3 (Fri.) 6~8pm

Lonely City, 2009, oil on canvas, 4 ' x 4'

Hyun Kyung Ryu was born and grew up in Gyeong-ju, South Korea the famous ancient Shilla Dynasty capital. As a child she played at museums and ancient tombs while imagining that she was a Queen wearing the gold and silver jewelry and treasures that surrounded her. This is the experience that informs her silver and gold paintings.

Ever since Ryu moved to New York these metallic tones have taken on a completely different meaning. Instead of warm reminiscences from her childhood, these finishes represent the loneliness of the city, and the alienation from anything familiar, a natural byproduct of the acculturation process.

Like the minimalists Ryu maintains their simple elegant formats, however, because she allows the evidence of her hand to appear on her paintings she is more like the post-minimal enterprise which supersedes this model. Consequently, whereas Minimalism was profoundly self-reflexive and focused on gesture, texture, and surface presentation, Ryu’s goal is her message and content.

Ryu’s works are the result of tracing with acrylics and the subsidization of the medium. The traces that are left on the canvas act as a work space and this also portrays humanity which is the subject of the artist’s works. These traces can also be seen as an outgrowth of her actions and the life she represents.

Ryu earned her bachelor’s and master degrees in fine art from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea. She is a lecturer at Dongguk University and Sorabol College in South Korea. While she took part in a group exhibition at the Korea Gallery in January 2008, this is her first solo exhibition in New York.

For More Information: Please contact the Exhibitions Director Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos at 212-691-7978 or or the Tenri Administrative Director Mr. Michael Yuge at 212-645-2800 or .


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