MIN JUNG-YEON: Memories from a greenhouse – Mémoire de la serre
“The limit between reality and fiction is useless because you can actually fully live in an unreal world”. *
During a trip, Min Jung-Yeon found herself in Madrid’s central station where she discovered a big greenhouse. She was overcome with a desire to penetrate inside it, to pursue her journey there rather than getting back on the train…The discovery of a botanical oasis at an architectural junction of man’s movements significantly marked the artist. Later, it inspired the painting Madrid Station (La Gare de Madrid), an emblematic work, where the organic, dream-like “jungle” is juxtaposed with realist, figurative elements in a multiple plane composition.
The accumulation of impressions is permanent in all beings. Hand in hand with the act of forgetting, only the essence remains, what is essential – a souvenir. Min transforms her experiences and emotions in order to go from the personal, the individual to the more universal. In her world, order doesn’t exist, there are no limits: time, space and matter are created, modified and move in an incessant process, a perpetual movement between past and present, visible and invisible, fiction and reality, structure and form, rational and irrational.
Memories from a greenhouse
Playing on the double meaning of the word “mémoire”, memory in French – meaning either a souvenir or an extended academic dissertation which questions and makes observations – Min draws up an inventory of her own, personal greenhouse with its specimen and phenomena. Spaces fluctuate, are autonomous and artificial, a reminder of the virtual video game universe which is an integral part of the artists’ reality and generation: straight lines and geometric forms are combined with fluid lines to create encounters, confrontations, separations or destructions in a perpetual starting over: New Game!
The artist mentions feminine forms embodying softness and masculine structures which are carriers of energy. These opposing yet complementary forces are fundamental to Min’s unusual world. Unusual yet not surreal, despite the formal resemblance to the Surrealist movement, the artist does not aim to transcribe the unconscious. Images come from her imagination as well as the objective study of reality. Min aims rather to reveal the complexity of our world, to enlarge our field of perception and perhaps, our idea of beauty.
Different in their expressive form, Min attaches equal importance to drawing and painting. For her, drawing is like breathing. It allows her significant psychological freedom and greater spontaneity in its creative process. The artist plots minutely in Indian ink using a very fine ink pen. Few colours, in watercolour or pencil occasionally enhance her compositions. These can be distinguished due to their precision and graphical purity. Only the predetermined number of minute strokes in each zone, following a personal logic, represents a form of constraint. Inversely, Min’s acrylic compositions require further rigor and a deeper reflection leaving less room for improvisation. They do however offer greater physical freedom with the possibility of wider movements as well as the enjoyment of colour.
Born in 1979 in South Korea, Min has been drawing since the age of three. She graduated in Fine Arts (Hongick University, Seoul, 2003 and the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris, 2005). Showing regularly in Asian, European and Middle Eastern galleries since 2004, she also participated in Medi(t)ation, the third Asian Contemporary Art Biannual presented in the Taiwan National Museum of Fine Arts in 2011. The French public has been able to appreciate her painted work during the exhibition Neo-graphie, bringing together a selection of Korean contemporary artists at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris (2010). Memories from a greenhouse (Mémoire de la serre) is Min’s first solo show at the GALERIE MARIA LUND. The gallery presented her drawings at Drawing Now art fair (2011 and 2012 editions) and in the group show Accrochage 2(2010). Min is this year’s winner for the third edition of the Partners’ Prize (Prix des Partenaires) held by the Museum of Modern Art, St. Etienne Métropole. She has been rewarded with a solo show of her drawings at the museum this summer 2012, along with a catalog. Min’s work has been the subject of a dozen catalogs and numerous publications in the media in both Europe and Korea. Hibernation, a monographic publication appeared in 2009.