Hyunsun Jeon's sharp wit and keen perception are self evident in her paintings. Nothing acutely unfolds or emerges in her paintings, but there are calm showings of forms that convey certain struggles of life. The objects are arranged in an oddly surreal composition, but closer inspection asks questions of whether the self and all that is not the self can find common ground, to coexist and achieve mutual understanding. Jeon's works are about communication. Is it sophomoric to wonder if loneliness is a friendless haunt because we live in a twilight world? The human condition seems to misunderstand as we are misunderstood.
Hyunsun Jeon's previous works arranged images in layers or in serial form like notices tacked to a bulletin board. What caught her attention, what she could not understand, she brought to the canvas and reconstructed. Her 2018 solo exhibition was an abstract development of that layered arrangement, revolving around the idea of the abstracted layer. Post-exhibition, Jeon wanted to return to conceptual paintings and the concepts of time and space she had previously overlooked.
The Corner of Time encapsulates arbitrary space and time which passes through it. The canvas panels seem like a series of movie stills from a fixed perspective taken over passing of time. A fig and cone appears in most of the panels like main protagonists, and sometimes just the fig like a soliloquy. Then from one scene onward, the cone is constant while space and time changes. The lesser panels within the larger frame of the canvas use passage of time, space, and objects to present both continuity and discontinuity. The abrupt (dis)continuity across the panels grip the spectator with a tense gripping sensation.
Eight (non)consecutive paintings, all 180cm tall, depict a space occupied by two objects. The two objects are juxtaposed, superimposed, in mutual illumination, or in some sort of causal interaction. Jeon wanted to capture perspectives of both the near and distant. Sense of space and ancillary prop/objects appear distant, while the two central objects appear near enough to convey a sense of obstructed view. We identify the size of one object in reference to another which is more familiar. When objects are present without an identifiable reference, an unnerving sense of chaos ensues.
An individual's uniquely developed sense of self, what the philosophers called ego, comes with an oxymoronic condition. How does one prove one's unique identity? That proof turns out to be a function of what is self and all that is not self. There is no way to define the self in the absence of the relationship with the other, or the external environment. It is the self that suffers and survives the reality of existence, but it is also the recognition and acceptance of the other which allows the self to exist. At times, others who are not me, the environment that is not me grow familiar and even feel like a part of self, but pay close attention and observe: similarities may be possible, but complete agreement is not, and there is virtually no common measure.
In the exhibition title From Fig to Cone, fig represents a being facing a certain thing, vis-à-vis. An edge is created when two vertices join in a line segment, the line of incidence a metaphor for two separate individuals intersecting at a point in time and space in a relationship of causality and change. Hyunsun Jeon hopes this exhibition remains in the realm of projected possibilities; possible relationships between the two presented objects or the situation. Our existence is the interdependent sum-set operation of all that is self and not the self. Perhaps existence is a function of endlessly reaching a point of balance between the two.
Press release courtesy GALLERY2.