Urban isolation has served as a long-standing motif in Yongsun’s oeuvre, foregrounding the disaffected, post-Fauvist figures that populate his cityscapes. Jagged planes of color converge into offices, highways, cafes and subway stops, pulsing with the cultural cacophony that defines existence under global capitalism. Yongsun’s paintings feel like existential snapshots rather than straightforward commentaries, reflecting our neuroses back to us through the harsh geometry of everyday desperation. His subjects, rendered in loud, frenetic reds and greens, live at the axis of hyper-connection and chilling solitude, forever yearning to close the gap between contentment and contentment’s image. Utopia’s Delay maps that process of cultural seduction; as we absorb Yongsun’s interpretation of the platonic “businessman”, we are further abstracted from his physicality – he has become part of the backdrop, a willful abstraction of our collective urban phenomenology. Yongsun fuses tradition Korean and European Expressionist aesthetics to create a disquieting emotional tableau that every city dweller understands.
Critic and academic Ihn Bum Lee says of Suh, Yongsun’s work, “Suh’s perspective towards the world and life radiates tension that resembles a poem, while his volume has reached…the breadth and depth of a saga”.
Suh, Youngsun lives and works in Gyeonggido near Seoul, Korea. He studied Fine Arts at Seoul National University from 1975 to 1982 and worked as a professor at its College of Fine Arts from 1986 to 2008. He was elected Korea’s Artist of the Year for 2009 and honored with a solo show at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea. Yongsun has exhibited internationally, enjoying solo recognition in Paris, Berlin, New York, and Osaka.
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