Lot 447 - Yanghwa - Safe Zone - Nowhere
Watercolour on Paper
A6 (10x15cm) original artwork
Bidding starts at £50
"My recent paintings are ongoing construction sites, depict a real site of gentrification in South London where my studio also used to be situated. Since a property developer bought one of the old buildings, artists could rent workspaces for uncertain periods of the time until permission was granted to build a new luxurious apartment. To build someone’s bright new home, some artist had to lose their workplace. These could even be life threatening for people who have lived in an area for years or for their whole lives. In this series, I ask if I am a victim of this brilliant future plan, gentrification.
I use an imagination of utopia; that is, the landscape of new homes, nostalgic scenes or holiday sights. They are all real images from somewhere but they become unreal in my paintings, while still somehow looking real. While some people are dreaming of their new homes and putting their savings and mortgages into as-yet-unreal spaces, others are losing their lifelong homes, while others are making lots of money. The paradox of home and gentrification is situated in this heterotopic space, which looks like an unreality but exists everywhere in the city in which we live."
Hwa Seon Yang, known as Yanghwa, is a South Korean artist living and working in London. Studying an MA in Painting in Seoul, she then went on to earn a second MA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, graduating in 2013. Her next step is a Professional Doctorate course at University of East London. Yanghwa's work is a visual allegory and tribute to children's play and the desire to negotiate non-perspective safety zones of comfort and familiarity. Running themes throughout her work include comfort zones and toys. A keen miniature toy collector, Yanghwa paints from her own vast collection of figures, breathing life into mass produced toys. Yanghwa works to create artworks that speak directly to the child within us all, invoking nostalgic memories of childhood and comfort. Her watercolor and pencil pieces are a vibrant and colourful exploration of memories and play, and have been exhibited in group shows across London, Seoul, Hong Kong and Beijing. Yanghwa was shortlisted for the prestigious Herbert Smith Freehills & Works in Print Art Prize in 2013, and has exhibited as par of Sweet ‘Art’ at Espacio Gallery, London’s Arbeit Gallery (2013) and KAIS Gallery, Hong Kong (2007). Yanghwa’s Jealous Prize print edition is now held in the Victoria & Albert Museum Permanent Print Collection.