51 : Britta Rettberg
Britta Rettberg is pleased to present a solo booth with works by Youjin Yi (*1980, Republic of Korea) at Enter Art Fair 2020. In her multifaceted artistic language, Youjin Yi unites objective references and abstract, painterly structures. Her works depict landscape spaces occupied by persons, animals, objects or hybrid creatures. Those often mesh to become biomorphic forms redolent of human and animal figures, body parts or plants. Seemingly dematerialized they fuse with their environment, emerge or take shape. The animistically inhabited or animated worlds exude both melancholy and vigor, appear both threatening and peaceful, mystical and profane. Yi’s works visualize existential states of being and the origins of human identity and experience. She regards her works as metaphors for unconscious images and manifestations of ideas. Her concern is not for recognizability and categorization, but for pointing out the ungraspable and the complexity of our world and perception. Working on “Hanji”, the traditionally handmade Korean paper, constitutes an important component of Yi’s creations. Moreover, the influence of an East Asian understanding of painting flows into the artist’s work in many ways. The dualism between the Asian and the Western world has solidified into an essential aspect of Youjin Yi’s art. She developed a special iconography between the poles of imprints and cultures. Her art is distinguished by the variation of graphic and painterly principles. The artist lays claim to translate the lightness of drawing to large-format paper or canvas. The process of omission constitutes an important compositional element in her work. She probes the placement of a body and its relationship to the surrounding space – on levels of both form and content. At the same time, there is a concern to undermine the Western rational, intellectually penetrating gaze. For her most recent “Polymer Panels” and sculptures, she takes up industrial material and turns to digital processes. The small-format “Polymer Panels”, reminiscent of votive panels, create an object-like quality to Yi’s paintings. Here the artist emphasizes the theme of corporeality, which is heightened by the flesh color of the picture carrier.