THE 'ADULT CHILD SERIES'
‘Adult Child’ is an ongoing series that Yang Hyun Jun has been working on since 2013. The series focuses on family and humanity. Family is a perpetually important component in Yang’s life, while humanity, to the artist, is an immediate realisation that comes only after one is able to grasp the greatness of family. His subject matter particularly highlights maternal love, acting as both a profound quest into and a personal answer to the lack of a father figure in his childhood.
LIGHT OF THE HOME, LIGHT OF THE WORLD: THE HUMANITY IN YANG HYUN JUN OUVRE
Yang’s artistic direction always leads him back to his mother in a conceptual continuum of life where the past, present, and future are interconnected. His affection and longing for his mother seeped into the image he has for his life, as he does not hold comparable feelings or memories for his father in his childhood. The flow of time is unstoppable - it is in Yang’s belief that his being from childhood to the personified identity today is the product of the ever-flowing time.
According to Yang, the encounter of new life and awakening was like the umbilical cord which had connected him with his mother, whereby the umbilical cord is the channel for material exchange between mother and foetus. This medium interconnects shared emotions and love. For that reason, in Yang’s works, even though his mother and him are visually placed in different spaces, the affection for each other is materialised through the passages of existence and virtual reality.
The exhibition “Every Moment” presents Yang’s works and their symbiosis in assuring mutual love at every moment and its expansion via invisible threads.
Writing by Francesca Marcaccio
MORE THAN YOUR CHEEKY CHILD-NEXT-DOOR
At first glance, each and everyone one of Yang’s Adult Child may appear to be another comical, illustrative, cartoon character-like painting with pop art features. If you care to look beyond the canvas, you will see how the girl-in-frame is more than just your average kid-next-door.
Historically, portrait paintings are used to document the faces of people of certain status and importance, as well as to invoke a sense of fondness for the subject matter from the viewer. Intentional or not, Yang’s artistic practice is not much different from those from hundreds of years ago. People always come first. Regardless of the context, Yang’s acrylic-on-traditional Korean paper works and his wooden panel works feature the protagonist’s upper body, which brings to mind Renaissance front-facing, half-length portraits like the Mona Lisa. In a similar utilitarian sense, Yang’s artworks are created to pay homage to his mother, putting in frame the person of utmost importance in his life, the one and only main character in his paintings - his mother. Aesthetically speaking, whether she is beaming or scowling, she is always there, ready to greet those that lay eyes upon the artwork.
Not to mention the iconic snot of the little girl in Yang’s artworks that always catches our attention, which accentuates the childlike energy expressed throughout the artist’s series. A runny nose is not exclusive to those at a young age - adults do have runny sinuses and are allowed to pick their noses too. To look into it even further, the 3D nasal drop also suggests the pain of life and tears of each lived experience. Regardless of the experience or action, every one of our own experiences is valid in our own terms, everything that we go through, good or bad, is eventually rendered genuine and valuable.
Writing by Vivian Chau
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Yang Hyun Jun graduated from Silla University, Busan, with a degree in Korean Art Painting in 1996, followed by a Doctorate in Oriental Painting from the same university in 2009. He has held over 15 solo exhibitions to date and has participated extensively in over 80 group shows and art fairs internationally. Yang and his works have travelled from South Korea to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, and more.