Yoon Ji-Eun — Mirages


Drawing, sculpture, mixed media

Yoon Ji-Eun

Past: March 16 → April 27, 2013

Here one turns, as in a number of traditional dances, hand in hand in a circle in a never-ending movement. An impression of floating reigns, — of a halt of all those activities which have been accomplished and which have to be repeated time and time again: mountains of clothing to be augmented or reduced, clothes lines hanging to be filled or lightened and traced paths to follow. The scale and the nature of the landscapes consistently varies, miniature scenes juxtaposed with monumental topographies; from a perfectly identifiable nature the eye passes on to strictly geometrical forms, like references to a discourse on fine art. There are also small red and blue motifs- anaglyphs, drawn in such a way that they are potentially three-dimensional. Worlds in worlds in worlds.

Times, rituals and matter

The temporal aspects and the ceaseless repetition are the basic elements of Yoon Ji-Eun’s work. Her choice of wood and stratified wood as her favoured medium is not innocuous, for the passage of time is inscribed there in the superimposed layers as well as in the veining of the surface. Sometimes, a further layer of wood in the shape of mountains or rocks stands out in relief, reinforcing the impression that an element imposes itself on the drawn shapes.

The plethora of stories as well as the fascination of Yoon Ji-Eun for the banal, daily act, make one think of Flemish painting and Breughel in particular. Even in the painting where the presence of human figures is very restricted, the concept of a community of human kind, of a link to the earth, of something original reigns. The fact that wood is employed is not alien to that concept; the idea of craft, of manual labour that digs, sculpts, brands and sketches as well…. The reference to folk art is not far as well, despite the sophistication of the work and the studied compositions — an art which mirrors ordinary life, that of rituals and days that resemble one another, an art which rejoices in the use of a multitude of colours, in the beauty of a piece of wood, engraved, sketched or sculpted. Wood accompanies Yoon Ji-Eun up to and into her works on paper: one finds it in the tree motif or else in the veined, wood coloured surfaces.


The situations described in Yoon Ji-Eun’s work are often inspired by photographs in which she stages herself, or images she finds. They are structured around a feminine figure with blindfolds, who is none other but the artist herself. The blindfolded eyes symbolize the feeling of isolation and solitude of the young women who found herself confined with an infant, in a country which is not hers. The figure moves on in the landscapes, an empty net on its back or in the process of demarcating a mountain chain with this same net, or else in front of an open book showing different landscapes. … Is it a questioning of the notion of belonging, or the defining of a territory? Questions of identity and guidelines are underlying in Yoon Ji-Eun’s work. Elsewhere, the same figure finds itself confronted by a steep mountain with clothes on its top. One can imagine the way to be climbed before placing more clothes on the top. What is the link between the supposed task and the figure? Duty, destiny or choice? She is a modern Sisyphus faced with absurdity; she is a solitary character even in other’s company, calling to mind the art of Korean literates where the individual finds himself confronted by a grandiose landscape. The artist explains that during the elaboration of a work, the surrounding elements (mountains, paths, geometric shapes) appear before the figures as mirages. Sources of astonishment intrude, impose themselves, creating ruptures or anchorage points in the ceaseless movement of time and existence. Often the same figure is placed in different situations in the same painting. Is it a way of suggesting an evolution or hesitations? The works keep their enigma — only allowing the faceless figures the possibility of continuing their round dance, completing the same tasks, in a universe where only the environment changes.

Born in 1982 in South Korea, Yoon Ji-Eun has already had many exhibitions in France where she came to complete her licence in fine arts (engraving department) started at the Hong-Ik University (Seoul) at the ENSBA (Paris) under Jean-Michel Alberola. In 2008, she was chosen to participate in the Prix de dessin de Pierre David David-Weil. The following year, her work is shown at Jeune création at the CENTQUATRE, and, in 2010, she is presented at the Salon de Montrouge. A collaboration with the Galerie Schirman & de Beaucé brings her to the FIAC (2010), the salon DRAWING NOW (2011), and in 2010, the gallery holds her monographic exhibition Les lents nuages font dormir. Recently, Yoon Ji-Eun took part in the exhibition Ce que je trouve (pas) chez elle at the Maison des arts de Créteil (2012). She is also included in the publication Des artistes dans leur monde — an overview of emerging artists in France published by La Gazette Drouot (2012).

Maria Lund — Traduction : Jessica Watson
  • Nocturne — Yoon Ji-Eun — Mirages Closing Friday, April 12, 2013 7 PM → 9 PM
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

48, rue de Turenne

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 76 00 33 — F. 01 42 76 00 10


Chemin Vert

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, noon – 7 PM
Other times by appointment

03 portique 302x284 original

Venue schedule

The artist