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Self-portraits an honest enquiry

Update: February, 02/2015 - 08:34

Reflection: The paintings Hyun's House is on display at the exhibition Distance held at the Korean Cultural Centre.

HA NOI (VNS) — Artist Kim Jung-hyun depicts her emotions in self-portraits, which she is showcasing at an exhibition held in Ha Noi until February 14.

About 20 oil paintings, carved wood and acrylics on glass by Hyun are on display in the exhibition, titled Khoang (Distance).

"I like the exhibition because the works are close to my life," said Pham Ngoc Khanh, who attended the exhibition's opening ceremony on Thursday.

"For normal people like me, it's great enjoying paintings that are depicted truthfully. The colours in the paintings are beautiful. I like the biggest painting the most, featuring the artist's house, because it is simple but attractive."

An oil painting called It's Hyun's House is eye-catching at 100cm by 320cm. The artist depicts a bedroom, bathroom and everyday objects in the house. It includes a mirror with an image of the artist.

"This painting is my graduation work," Hyun said. "I like this house and wanted to put different spaces in the painting. I'm in the painting – or I'm not, because it's my mirror-image."

The painting is the artist's memory of a house she doesn't live in anymore.

Born in South Korea, Hyun came to Viet Nam when she was 18. She has lived in HCM City since 2005. She graduated HCM City Fine Arts College's Painting Department, where she is now studying for a master's.

During her first few years in the city, she faced a lot of struggles and began to draw as a way to come to terms with the different feelings and issues she had, like difficulties with the language.

"I'm a Korean, but living in Viet Nam," Hyun said at the opening ceremony.

"Sometimes I ask myself: ‘Who am I?' That's why most of the paintings at the exhibition are self-portraits. Living as an expatriate is both interesting and difficult. The paintings are like my diary, where I express my feelings. Drawing helps me relax."

One interesting work is titled Portrait (for everyone). It was made with acrylics on a 90cm-by-122cm mirror, so viewers can look at their own reflections.

Hyun is a director of HCM City's Gallery Pongdang and a member of the city's Fine Arts Association.

She organised solo exhibitions in 2010 and 2011 in HCM City. Between 2008 and 2014 she took part in many group exhibitions.

"The exhibition Distance by artist Kim Jung-hyun will help us seek out and encourage young Korean artists in Viet Nam," said Park Nark-jong, director of the Korean Cultural Centre. — VNS



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