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Riverside Gallery presents "The Artistry of Zun"


originally published: 12/03/2022

Riverside Gallery presents "The Artistry of Zun"

“The Moon the Stars and Love” 39.3 x 53.5 inches oil pastels and mixed media 2019

(HACKENSACK, NJ) -- Riverside Gallery presents Zun, Hoo Yon’s paintings in his solo exhibition, titled “The Artistry of Zun,” from November 25 to January 5, 2023. Zun’s paintings can be said to be a kind of lyrical figuration, if there is such a thing, as a parallel to lyrical abstraction which are abstract works that take on poetic qualities and are similar to abstract expressionism and color field movements in style.

There is a heavy dependence on the symbolic use of lines and the expressive choice of colors that refine the work towards a kind of poetry and the expression of a pure state of mind. The thin black line (or a thin dark line) is not something that can be observed in real life in photographic terms; however, the line may be an honest attempt at capturing the pure form of the subject matter in abstract terms. In particular, the faces of figures are blank or take on symbolic qualities like smiley faces, as they can only be read as lines and dots. The lines transcend the illusion of the material world dictated by light, mid-tone, and shadow; they bring us to a primordial state of images, prior to its division as light and shadow.

Riverside Gallery presents "The Artistry of Zun"

 “Together with You,” 39.3 x 53.5 inches, 2019

Either Zun himself becomes an innocent child-like being through the act of painting, or an aspect of the artist’s original personality or psyche contains and reflects this pure nature. It is this difference between the state of being arising from an internal perspective and experience, and emulation of an external object or phenomenon that sets apart Zun’s works from those of some, other artists. The pure state of being as reflected in Zun’s work is not a literal return to childhood, but one of hybrid existence in which Zun is the Prince or the Peter Pan who has lived many years and has matured his artistic voice through sublimation and refinement.

In terms of visual style, Zun’s work is reminiscent of the modernist painter Marc Chagall in his use of color and lines. (For example, Chagall described himself as having “childish hands,” and Maurice Raynal, a French art critic and historian, described Marc Chagall has having a “childlike sensibility.”) The subjects of Zun’s works, which include anonymous figures, celestial objects, floral patterns and landscapes, and trees, are universal symbols of an aesthetically concerned world where a pure child can encounter the first sensations of beauty, love, warmth, happiness, and desire.

“Zun, Hoo Yon’s world is dotted with childhood innocence which is intertwined with everyday objects and dreams, just like the contents in a child’s diary… Most of his works are filled with words that are borth armed and connotative like the travel story of the main character of the ‘Little Prince’ which is nothing short of a language weaving into the symbol of a painting. Therefore, his paintings can be said to have reached the highest plane where it is both poetry and painting simultaneously. The object in his painting sometimes change into representative symbols or the languages in his work are depicting the objects vice versa.”’ – Oh Kwang-soo



 
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“Zun is an extremely capable designer and illustrator. These qualities are indigenous in his painterly poems. Throughout his oeuvre, Zun is interested in transforming space and time in a child-like way. The artist prefers to work on cotton paper in contrast to canvas or panels. Each of his paintings holds a poetic counterpart as in To My Beloved, where dry leaves appear to cover and fall over a bed of roses or possibly red carnations. Zun’s involvement with time is child-like. Here, in this painting, we are between the seasons, the place where life and love are synonymous with one another, and where joy and happiness resonate together. A feeling of innocence, represented with a few facial lines in To My Beloved, is suddenly transformed as a poignant lover beside his beloved.” – Robert C. Morgan

Riverside Gallery presents "The Artistry of Zun"

“To My Beloved,” 39.3 x 53.5 inches, 2021

Zun, Hooyon was born in Geoje, Gyeongsangnam-do in 1951, graduated from the Department of Arts at Hongik University in 1973. In 1984 became the design Advisor for Cheongwadae (ROK Presidential Office), in 1986 he was selected as the artist to create commemorative posters for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. In 1988-2004, Zun lectured at the College of Fine Arts, Hongik University.

The Riverside Gallery is Located in The Shops at Riverside (Riverside Square) at One Riverside Square, Suite 201, Hackensack, New Jersey. Hours are 10:00am - 7:00pm Monday to Saturday, closed Sunday.  



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