solo exhibition by sI JAE BYUN

25 August - 30 September 2018


Opening: Saturday, 25 August 2018, 15:00 - 17:00

Mankind and Nature have been perceived as both interconnected and opposing forces. In the Taoist belief system, the way to know the central principle of the Universe is by living in harmony with nature. There is a gentleness and spontaneity in this return to tao, qualities which Si Jae Byun brings across in her works that render paint upon layers of silk. Silk itself is a purely natural product, consisting of fibres and created by caterpillars. Si Jae mounts layers of coloured silk on canvas to achieve "an ideal balance between line and color" (Si Jae Byun). 

The artist presents a new series of works titled "Birth" which show fusion structures of natural and architectural elements - with roots plunging into the ground. Here, she draws parallels between nature and humanity - the struggle of a seedling to spread its roots and survive, alongside the inner conflict that individuals face in a bid to assert themselves and establish their identities; the cycles of nature and the cycles of human life; birth, death and renewal. The final aspect Si Jae invites us to consider is the role of architecture, spaces that allow nature and man-made infrastructure to coalesce. 

On the six-meter long gallery window looking out onto the jungle of Gillman Barracks, Si Jae has created a site-specific window work. Viewers are invited to look at nature through layers of man-made materials, experiencing a similar visual effect to the layers of silk on canvases within the exhibition. Such points of connection between nature and man may seem fleeting and rare but, in the moments we recognize them, we are made aware of the sublime and complex beauty of the world we live in. 

An almost two-meter wide chandelier gives insight into Si Jae's recent research into the relationship between human functions and the classical elements of earth, wind, water and fire. The artistic chandelier acts as a functional object within the space, providing artificial light, and substituting candlelight. In summary, this exhibition reveals how natural harmonies within the atmosphere and body are essential for the earth, and how the same elemental balances make Si Jae's artwork function. 
Si Jae Byun (b. 1976, Korea)  is an accomplished mixed media artist working with all types including video, drawing, painting, and installation. Her unique style of using ink and acrylic on transparent layers of silk has been developed over many years, evolving into paintings that look and feel organic, while expressing her message through the us of texture and transparency. Her current work theme is based on the harmony and balance relationship between nature and architecture connected through the function of the human body.

 In the beginning of her career, she focused on stop motion animation to create humorous and vibrant videos. She followed that by creating large balloon installations with a human organ theme and made them interactive with her videos. The videos and installations were well received and she received numerous awards.

 Her works have been extensively shown in Korea, the United States, and in several Asian countries.Her works have been shown in New York City at Tally Beck Contemporary, Korean Cultural Center (Korean Embassy) in Washington DC, and at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea. Her work was also at Scope, Miami, LA Art Show, Nanjing International Art Festival, and both Art Stage Singapore and Jakarta.

 Of the numerous awards she has obtained, the inaugural (e)merge art fair 2013 Emerging Artist Prize from The Philips Collection stands out as one of her most treasured.

 Si Jae is a Korean born and raised artist. She received her BFA and MFA from Kookmin University in Seoul, Korea and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, New York. She currently lives and works in Singapore. She is a mother of three years old and one year old young children, both born in Singapore.

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