Chan Hampe Galleries is delighted to present Korean artist Si Jae Byun in her debut Singapore solo exhibition Multifarious.
Viewing the paintings of Si Jae Byun gives one the feeling of peering through a looking glass at wondrous worlds caught in the act of self-creation. Influenced by subjects as divergent as construction sites and chromosomes, her overriding interest is in the coexisting realities these objects can suggest; inside and outside; physical space and psychological space; the natural world and the manmade.
In the Time and Distance
series these ideas manifest in lyrical swirls of colour and motion. In Moon #2
there is a geometric precision to Byun’s use of line, yet the subjects seem inherently organic and aquatic in nature. As the name implies this piece represents one phase of lunar cycle. Its counterpart painting, Multifarious #1
, alludes to a human egg intuitively responding to the pull from above, each entity independent, yet interconnected.
Since arriving in Singapore, Byun’s immediate environment has begun to influence her work. The series of paintings titled Meeting & Mixing
is a nod to the exceptionally diverse blend of cultures coexisting in the city-state, while the prevalence of contemporary architecture laced with greenery has led her to include pods of encapsulated vegetation nestled within larger structures. Coupled with the frenetic movement and mechanically inspired forms, there is a decidedly Futuristic bent to her paintings.
Byun’s arts education included not only painting, but also textile design, new media and set design. This multi-faceted arts training helps her to negotiate ideas between multiple media and injects a certain amount of fluidity across her projects. It is also directly responsible for her current canvas of choice—silk. Using 2 to 3 paper-thin sheets of silk as her base she draws and paints on each layer, essentially building each painting. This unusual process allows her to employ the space between the layers as part of the work, the unique structure incorporating an element of distance within the painting itself.
About the Artist
Si Jae Byun (b. 1976, Korea) is a visual artist currently based in Singapore. She attended Kookmin University in Seoul, Korea, receiving a BFA in Painting and Textiles, and an MFA in New Media. She received a second MFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2007. She served as an Adjunct Professor in Fine Arts at Kookmin University/Gachon University from 2008-2011.
Byun has held numerous solo exhibitions in Korea including shows at Gasan Gallery, Gallery Chosun and Seo Kyo Art Center. She has exhibited in solo shows at Tally Beck Contemporary in New York and the Korean Embassy Culture Center in Washington DC., as well as participated in numerous group exhibitions at locations throughout Korea and the US.
Byun is the recipient of the Phillips Collection Emerging Artist Prize in 2013 and has participated in artist residences in the US, Korea, Italy, Spain, and in 2015 with Grey Projects in Singapore. Her work has been collected by the Phillips Collection in Washington DC.
Press release courtesy Chan + Hori Contemporary.