Introduction of the solo show 'After All, Time Flows In One Direction'

at Chapter II Yard

August 2021

Chapter II Yard is pleased to announce, After All, Time Flows In One Direction, a solo exhibition by Chae Eun Rhee (b.1979) from 19th August to 25th September in Seongsu-dong, Seoul. Chae Eun Rhee has developed a suggestive painting style in a bold primary color, embracing both imaginative and realistic realms by juxtaposing individuals in situations related to specific social issues. This exhibition is an extension of her previous show at Chapter II in Yeonnam-dong in May 2021, reflecting new achievements of the artist.

Chae Eun Rhee’s practice is initiated by applying figurative reflections to dynamics between members of contemporary society and social phenomena she has experienced and been affected by. The main approaches for the artists to absorb multiple motifs for creation within the scope of the contemporary era’s influence can be divided in two directions: one is revealing the sincere internal responses under the impact and another is taking a more objective observer’s point of view by selectively exposing and arraying certain events and images through a curatorial methodology. Chae Eun Rhee adopts the latter as she carefully measures off the given plane beforehand and deploys targets on it without damaging the profound effect of improvisation in the field of creation. ‘Reportage’ often refers to a literary genre combining the factual incident reports and the writer’s knowledge and insight into them and Rhee attempts to produce a similar effect in her paintings. When viewers manage to avoid being distracted by the dazzling composition of her paintings and have enough time to appreciate them closely, they would realize that some spotlights the artist intentionally implanted are fixed on several particular spots and hidden narratives lurk in these areas.

The subjective testament and meticulous observation of Renaissance painting styles including methodological exploration of the allegorical layout, have had a profound influence on the artist, and the newly presented works in this exhibition are distinct from the previous works in that it is obvious they have been affected by that influences. If representing is visualizing an event that exists only in speech, the expression is an act that imparts subjectivity to it. Thus, the intentional distinction between the adapted image and the original can be achieved through differentiation in expression. In this point of view, it is interesting to note that Rainbow Wings (2021), which based on the work depicts upper body of Gabirel, The Annunciation (1434-36) by Jan van Eyck, follows the way faithfully. First of all, the work, which depicts the upper body of Gabriel, features a cropped composition in the original image file, with the background and circumstances are removed, keeping only a narrow distance from the edge, immerse the viewers in the figure’s appearance away from its narratives. The wings, expressed in airbrushes, create a distinctive effect from the precisely depicted figure, present the Chae Eun Rhee’s own solution to the sign of divinity, and function as a mechanism that guarantees the contemporaneity the work along with extreme cropping.

Chae Eun Rhee completed an MFA in Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her practice has been featured in solo exhibitions at SongEun Art Cube (2019), Seoul and recently at EENWERK (2020), Amsterdam. She was a selected artist at several local and abroad residency programs including SEMA Nanji Residency (2021), Rijksakademie (2020) and Vermont Studio Center (2015); also, she was a recipient of fellowships at Asia Culture Center (2019), Yaddo Residency Program(2016) and Milton Avery Foundation (2015). Rhee’s paintings are included in multiple prestigious establishments such as MMCA Artbank, Incheon Foundation for Arts and Culture, Museum De Fundatie and Central Museum Utrecht (Upcoming, 2021).