Miyeon Yi

b.1995. Seoul, South Korea. Living and working in London, UK. She obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA (2013-2017), and is pursuing her master’s degree in painting at the Royal College of Art, London (2021-2023). She had a solo exhibition at the Era Gallery (Milan) and will be exhibiting at the Ojiri Gallery. (London) this summer. Her works have been in group shows in the USA, UK and France.

I use figures as an allegory of ennui. The figures in my work are often in their own living space filling in the void of life with meaningless tasks while turning away from the weight of drama, experiencing freedom as well as ennui. On the other hand, animals in my paintings have a similar structure and function to the exiting and entering of actors of the Nō Theatre crossing the Hashigakari (suspension) bridge. They are suspended from the main act of the protagonist however they have communicated with them in the past or bring a possibility to affect the main act in the near future. My painting discusses overwhelming agony embedded deep down in ones who live in the current world, in relation to individual freedom. Freedom allows us to decide what to make of our life but also guilt. Are we living as one should be? Doubt never sleeps.

The characters of my paintings are thus often in a state of distraction, innocence and guilt. The anxiety of emptiness in our lives, the urge to fill the silence with information, as well as the unconscious hope for transforming the world we live in. We do not know how to truly rest in peace. But yet in that same demonic force, the possibility for a righted life is posed as a task. This experience of how both death and life, change and transformation, reflects in objects and the way we interact with them has become more ubiquitous and poignant after the events of the past few years.