(Korean, B. 1975)
Self-Portrait on a Certain Ranch; & Unfamiliar Street
Self-portrait on a Certain Ranch: signed in Korean; signed 'Byung-Jin' in English; dated '2010' (on the reverse)
Unfamiliar Street: signed in Korean; signed 'Byung Jin' in English; dated '2011' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
65 x 50 cm. (25 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.); & 91 x 116.5 cm. (35 3/4 x 45 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2010; & 2011 (2)
LEE HWAIK Gallery, Solo Exhibition: Choi Byung-Jin, Seoul, Korea, 2012 (illustrated, pp. 19 & 27).
Seoul, Korea, LEE HWAIK Gallery, Solo Exhibition: Choi Byung-Jin, 8-21 February 2012.

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Eric Chang
Eric Chang

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Lot Essay

Born in 1978, Choi Byung-Jin received his BFA and MFA from Seoul National University, Seoul. Choi is the recipient of the notable Joong-Ang Fine Arts Prize and his works are collected by highly reputed institutions such as the National Museum of Modern Art, Gwa-Cheon, Seoul City Museum of Art, Seoul, and Falk Art Museum, Yong-In, among many others. Three works, Self-portrait in a Ranch, Unfamiliar Street (Lot 466), and Room No. 4 (Lot 465), featured here, display Choi's artistic development ranging from a portrait series to his recent monster series. Self-portrait in a Ranch exemplifies Choi's portrait series, exquisitely showing incongruity between individuals and the society through identifiable figures and surreal backgrounds. The pattern-like, medieval clown costumed figure is a metaphor for the human condition of hiding his individuality in the process of socialization. Unfamiliar Street shows the intermediate stage evolving to a monster series, displaying the combination of traits from each series. Room No. 4 presents a monster-like figure in a room, reminding the viewer of Francise Bacon's grotesque figures in a surrealistic structure. The translucent figure embodies the texture of his recollection and the doorless room creates a paradoxical space that suggested an inescapable, incomprehensible reality.

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