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    Sale 2605

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 422


    Price Realised  


    (Born in 1964)
    Still Life(two balls) & Still Life (heart on table)
    c-print, diasec, plexiglass & c-print, matt glass
    104 x 83 cm. (40 3/4 x 32 3/4 in.) x 2 pieces
    Edition of 6
    Executed in 2007 (2)

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    Hyun-Mi Yoo's Still Life series are not as simple as its title definition; rather they are the result of a multi-medium process, made to challenge the eye and the viewer's perception of reality. The practice of painting still life goes back to the Renaissance where every element whether it was a book, rosary or animal, was a representative motif to express the personality and intelligence of the painting's owner. With this notion, we find that Still life (heart on the table) (Lot 422) may represent a table of a cardiologist yet with Still life (rock clouds) (Lot 423), the viewer grapples with a realistic rendition of rocks that defy gravity. Delicately crafted, Yoo's paintings intentionally confuse the viewer through medium followed by content; they are not paintings but photographed paintings of sculpture-installations; clouds are not formed of solid rock. First molding her still life objects in clay, Yoo then finely paints the still life objects in addition to the shadows the lights casts on various surfaces. The brushstrokes are textured and unrefined like a swiftly painted oil painting, especially when viewed from a distance; only upon close inspection do we see that the surface is slick and flat.

    The perspective and lighting is flawless, the colour palette is refined and the composition is rich in all three of her paintings, much like traditional still life paintings. In every print we encounter several different textures, all of which are painted with the seriousness of an ancient painter but the work is contemporary in its visual challenge on the viewer. Particularly in Still life (Rock Clouds), we do not see one arch but two partial arches where in essence, the shared wall becomes the center of our attention, thus contradicting our notion that one arch should create a frame within a frame in a painting. Similarly, the curtain in Still life (two balls) (Lot 422)is only half the backdrop for this still life, creating an angle parallel to the two balls. While we would imagine that the red ball in the back be smaller than the one in the foreground, this is not the case in Yoo's painting. With the help of technology, Yoo is swiftly able to transform a traditional three dimensional sculpture into a two dimensional piece where both artistic mediums and rationality are defied.