(Born in 1970)
Self-Protrait as a Man - Long VIII
titled, sized, dated and signed 'Self-Protrait as a Man - Long 8; 200 x 70 cm.; 2005; Byen Ung Pil' in English (on reverse)
oil on canvas
70.5 x 201 cm. (27 3/4 x 79 in.)
Painted in 2005
Gallery Hyundai, Trend Spotting 2006, Seoul, Korea, pp. 12-13. (illustrated)
Seoul, Korea, Gallery Hyundai, Trend Spotting 2006, 13 July - 2 August , 2006.

Lot Essay

Byen Ung Pil paints a self-portrait of a seemingly dull-fascination of himself stretched within the frame of a horizontally elongated canvas, efficiently utilizing it to provide dual emphasis to his contemporary anxiety.

At first, the compressed image of the painting Self-portrait as a man-Long VIII (Lot 1156) misguide his oeuvre as a digitized error but the spectators find themselves astonished after their assumption is corrected by Byen's clever ploy in criticizing digitization that released a modernized personality of narcissism and egocentrism through society's obsessively habitual access to technical appliances that instigated hedonistic vanity of current youth in their unnecessary adornment of themselves. Exploiting the misleading composition of his painting, Byen wittingly further impersonates the likeness of a digital medium by subtly mixing paints of dimmed green of the background with the pink tint of the lips to the protagonist's skin; consequently, generating a false impression of a distorted pixilation of color. The warped portrait, stretched into a bizarrely disproportionate landscape, amplifies the tactile sensation of the malleable skin, inconspicuously daunting the spectators with forced closeness. But such intimacy only confirms Byen's capacity as an artist with his successful ability in merging technical execution with universal contemplation on the conceptual ambiguity of existence, in overall, arriving at his solitary criticism on the distorted and objective experience of humanity, dominated by collective consciousness that has become an inherent aspect of modernization. Seeking to find a concrete realness that resides in the pause between identity and existence of the body and self, Byen continually paints his self- portraits as to exemplify his effort in finding his own subjective reality.

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