Rohwajeong — Return trip


Collage, drawing, installation, new media...

Return trip

Past: January 18 → February 22, 2014

“RohwaJeong is a duo artist consisting of two persons Noh Yun-hee and Jeong Hyeon-seok. However, we expect that RohwaJeong may be regarded as an artist rather than as a duo of two persons. Our work observes and pays attention to relations changing in various times and spaces, and makes efforts to capture them effectively in their works. In particular, we try to probe into diverse relations among individuals and the individuals’ detailed conflicts arising from their roles in the relations. This is a movement to get away from the majority’s subjective and violent eyes that interpret all phenomena around in somewhat lazy and stereotyped judgment. Accordingly, it sometimes appears to be a situation or state that may induce various interpretations of a certain relation through works.

What is more, because each work adopts its medium in proportion to the weight to be conveyed, the overall formative uniformity among the works is avoided. That is, including the drawing series starting from a personal position, individual works employ different media such as installation, photograph and video that can be interpreted relatively according to subjective viewpoint so that each work may reveal its theme most effectively. Recently we are taking interest in so-called “work”, which is an activity making works, and research is being conducted on the boundary between the act of work and artists’ private life — which may not be considered directly relevant to work.

In other words, it is being studied whether a specific act absolutely necessary for the birth of a work — for example, the body’s action to conquer the object to be expressed using brush, scraper or other expression tools or the process of mental exploration for the implementation of a theme or message that the artist is to communicate — can be defined as a direct act that implements a work. In addition, we are interested in the contemporary social phenomenon. There is various and different cases of life in the world. We often express it without personal feeling, but would expect what awaken viewers about the world around them."


Rohwajeong is an artist duo composed by Yunhee Roh (wife) and Hyunseok Jeong (husband), both native of Seoul in 1981. They create the duo Rohwajeong in 2007, and began to work about human relationships. They currently work about those human relationships that change through space and time or about stories of their environnement using many media.

RohwaJeong draws an analogy between their latest exhibition and their thoughts on the term “journey”, where journey stands for physical movement along a distance that stands as absolute. Even a journey with a conspicuous purpose or specific aim can bring about unexpected inner changes. After travelling with the right dose of strain, curiosity and fear, things back at the familiar territory seem unchanged. What has been changed is the subject of thoughts that perceives the surroundings, which in turn changes the object of perception.

RohwaJeong intend to understand the experience of exhibition as a journey, from the genesis of key ideas for the birth of a work of art in the offing, and that of spectators whose journey begins as they entre the exhibition space and encounter various works of art until they pass below the exit sign. The duo for whom “relationship” and “in-between” once marked the important beginning of their career, now attempts to expand on their initial ideas toward the artists’ (daily) life and their relationship with their own work, as well as their thoughts on the term “we” and the intimacy vis-à-vis things surrounding our existence. At the Galerie DohyangLee, the multifariousness of the duo’s work is staged with different media, all of which boil down to one conclusive point.

For the basement level was used candles instead of halogen lights, which allows to conserve the original atmosphere of the basement, but also for a sense of conservation of the works themselves, like old relics having never been displaced. Meanwhile, two projections, one installed in the basement Cold Mountain and the other on ground floor Milk, create a black-white contrast constituting their overall visual impression. In effect it portrays “society” as impregnated with countless changes. And in fact the society follows certain structures of repetition or patterns that always remain difficult to be broken down, which is the common denominator in both projections. In Cold Mountain, the mountain is shaped by blackened newspapers familiar to the generation preceding that of the artists. The shape of the material evolves through various external factors to give new shapes such as one of mountain range or hummock and does not crumble even despite the raging blizzard. On the other hand, Milk shows non-focal yet obscurely focused white images filling the entire screen. There, milk, usually recognised as an agent that dissolves into coffee and other foodstuffs to smooth out the taste, suddenly gives off bubbles with a violent sound. The work offers a microscopic view of the existence of violence that persists but remains hard to recognise. The previously unseen facet of newspaper and milk come face to face on a breakfast table that usually serves to place the two objects.

All of the above is accompanied by two plant pots and a can inviting the spectators to kick around throughout the exhibition space. Along with Time is Disgusting, another work Moving traces the movements of the kicked-about can on the gallery floor plan. Standing between Tree of Boundaries and Cloud of Boundaries is Bye-Bye where the two former works are facing each other, all of which draw a “dialogue”, specific to the œuvre of RohwaJeong, and hovers between the natural and the artificial, quotidian life and artistic operation, the real and the image, goodwill and ill will of Time, departure and return.

These are results to be considered unconsciously deriving from the duo’s co-operation as one, but also the dual-identity relationship that gives birth to another entirely new identity, which is also specific to RohwaJeong.

Finally, in The thing (The thing that you know, I don’t want to know), the couple pulls on a rope figuring a sentence on a canvas, which they pick `up to get it up in the air. It distills the duo’s modus operandi as a long journey. It also gives rise to an imagery that embodies first the artists’ squabbling and technical arguments in the process of creation and finding the right balance, and a collective bodily act of leaving afloat the trace of their changed self(-ves) through the journey.

  • Opening Saturday, January 18, 2014 6 PM → 9 PM
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

73-75, rue Quincampoix

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 77 05 97 — F. 01 42 76 94 47

Les Halles

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 2 PM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment

The artists