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Joo Jae Hwan: Metamorphosis in the Darkness 

周在煥 

 

Hakgojae Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of Joo Jae Hwan (1940, Seoul), entitled “Joo Jae Hwan: Metamorphosis in the Darkness” from 4th of March 2016. Joo has been highly acknowledged as an artist who has developed his own unique world of art over a long period of time. However, there have not been enough opportunities to have his art spotlighted for his reputation. The exhibition will showcase approximately fifty works that were produced between 1980 and 2015, and will offer the audience an opportunity to explore Joo Jae Hwan’s art world that has been developed for the last 30 years.

 
Regarding Joo, art critics often focused on the artist’s social critical subject matters and his life circumstances. It is essential to look into an artist’s life circumstances and the era he lived, but on the other hand, that sometimes can cause mistakes of hasty generalization. This exhibition attempts to see his artwork with an aesthetically wider perspective.
 
Joo represents himself to be an ‘entertainer’. Just like the artist himself, his art deals with various subject matters and materials. Yet, common background scenes and events are appeared—‘Night’ and ‘Metamorphosis’. To the artist, ‘night’ is not only physical time between sunrise and sunset, but also is an aesthetical space, where art exists regardless of social order and regulations. It is also a cosmic space that bears potentials of various creations and metamorphosis. Joo brings everyday objects and matters into this aesthetical, cosmic space and ‘metamorphoses’ them. As a result, his artwork blurs the boundaries between everyday life and art, adding a new meaning to routines, and making art able to express and communicate with its unique way without being restricted by standards and orders of the society.
          
Joo Jae Hwan organized ‘Reality and Utterance’ in 1979 and made a debut at the exhibition ‘Reality and Utterance’, 1980. Joo had exhibitions including ‘Look at This Mr. Funny’ at Artsonje Center (2001), a solo exhibition at the alternative art space Sarubia (2007), a special exhibition of the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). Joo received numerous awards including the 10th People Artist Award (2001) and Prize for the Promotion of the Arts, Visual Arts, Biennale de Gwangju(2002).