(B. 1974)
Leon and Matilda
signed 'Yi Hwan Kwon' in English'; signed in Chinese; numbered '5/9' (lower back)
wood and FRP sculptures
76 x 74 x 159 cm. (29 7/8 x 29 1/8 x 62 5/8 in.)
edition 5/9
Executed in 2009
Private Collection, Asia
CAIS Gallery, Shared Illusion, exh. cat., Seoul, Korea, 2009 (different edition illustrated, p. 17 & pp. 19-21).
Seoul Auction Hong Kong Limited, Hong Kong Arts Centre, The Pao Galleries, Scenes from Memory-Yi Hwan Kwon, exh. cat., Hong Kong, 2009 (different edition illustrated, pp. 9, 36 & 37).
Seoul, Korea, CAIS Gallery, Shared Illusion, 24 June-17 July 2009. Hong Kong, China, Hong Kong Arts Centre, The Pao Galleries, Scenes from Memory-Yi Hwan Kwon, 12-22 November 2009 (different edition exhibited).
Hong Kong, China, Times Square, Open Piazza and Atrium, In Between Imagination and Reality, 22 July-22 August 2010 (different edition exhibited).
New York, USA, Gana Art Gallery, From the Movies, 9 September-9 October 2010 (different edition exhibited).

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Felix Yip
Felix Yip

Lot Essay

"Leon is a hit man, but has a childlike aspect [to him], while Matilda is a kid, but is familiar in worldly affairs, and thus sees the world pessimistically. In this scene, Matilda learns to assemble a pistol with Leon. I want to draw out a romantic feeling from these incongruous characters."
-Yi Hwan Kwon
The distorted sculptures of Yi Hwan Kwon display a parallel universe where ocular reality and perceptual accords of conformity are absurdly bent. They provoke a visual experience in space and time, where our eyes seem to navigate familiar objects and people only for the first time, and our predicated perception must freshly adjust.

The first work from his 2009 Movie series, Leon and Matilda (Lot 1477) renders a poignant scene from the 1994 film Léon by Luc Besson. Yi recreates the entire mise-en-scène in its three-dimensional totality but vertically outstretched as if seen on a compressed cinematic screen. The distorted and incongruous nature of the relationship between the two characters is complemented by the visual warp, and this quiet scene emphasizes the form of a trusting bond founded on their united goal for vengeance and justice.

Not only is the visceral experience that is lost before the filmic screen restored into our reality through Yi's freeze-frame world, but this compression of distance, space and time is also an inquisitive attempt to inject vitality into the variable relationship between the two-dimensional and three-dimensional realms.

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