minhong pyo RE/VISION at high house gallery

23 October 2012 § Leave a comment

In their three previous exhibitions to date High House have exhibited carefully curated group shows: Imagined Pasts /Unknown Futures and Dividing Line (still showing in the attractive gardens) being the most recent. As a break from this short-lived ‘tradition’ Minhong Pyo has a solo show and is the latest artist to feature in the modest but very pleasant gallery space.

Pyo hails from south Korea and as such is one from a rapidly growing roster of dynamic young artists of the highest quality to appear from their exciting art scene. I recently chatted to the organiser of the series of the highly rated ‘Korean Eye’ events (most recently at Saatchi) who reinforced my view that some of the most exciting artists of the current time are coming out of the country. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that China and Japan share in this dynamism – the work from Korea is way more interesting.The exhibition at High House features Pyo’s trademark photographic style. Enigmatic and unidentifiable urban landscapes feature pastel shades and unreal skies.  Architectural elements are slightly displaced or re-ordered and nothing is quite how it seems or how it should be. These almost modernist landscapes despite being photographic also appear to be painted.

Infact Pyo is carefully playing with our perception of reality with images which are carefully manipulated. Windows are removed or switched to slightly unusual positions. Lifelike colours are tweaked in to unreal or neatly ordered pastel shades. Reflections or added elements turn normality into dream.

Pyo has cunningly printed on to canvas in order to encourage the perception of a painted image. Painting of course is accepted as being a version of reality rather than the real thing whilst photography encourages us to accept the truth of the image. These works lie on the borderline. We never know quite where we are.A series of small works accompanies these larger ones. Round images – again photographic – with blurred edges are aligned around two walls. There is no glass or frame to turn these in to simple or decorative photographic image. Mounted on birch panels with rounded corners and painted edges they are tactile objects that fall between painting, sculpture and photograph and that feature ill-defined subjects: perhaps the side of a persons head, some piping, a garden barbecue or a cat.

We gaze at these works as if through a window. They are distant, part-formed and fragmentary thoughts for us to interpret in our own way. They are the realisation of distant half-forgotten memories.

This a particularly well-formed and interesting show from a very interesting young artist. Better still, as a young artist early in his career you will find that these works are exceptional value.

Minhong Pyo RE/VISION is on Thursday to Sunday 11-5 until 18 November 2012

The writer has an interest in the gallery.

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