The Yanghyun Foundation (Eunyoung Choi, Chief Director), announced Jewyo Rhii as the winner of the 2010 Yanghyun Prize on July 7th.
She is awarded the 2010 Yanghyun Prize as the honorable winner of the year at the award ceremony held at Lecture Hall, Seoul Museum of History, Seoul, Korea, on Oct. 8th.
Jewyo Rhii introduced her works of art, which she produced for about 5 years from 1998, mainly in the form of books
in which an environment of the birth of works and the gradual flow of time are revealed.
She published three art books in which urgent efforts that a man makes to improve the physical and mental environment of the everyday life are revealed humorously in the form of photos, drawings and unique makings.
Afterward, being interested in herself as an artist in non-retrospective nowness, coincidences that vary depending on the places, spontaneous events, and unfamiliar space and in the dynamics of each exhibition factor, Rhii engages in many exhibition activities.
Her interest of other’s matter through the experience of her living abroad in many different cultures shows in the ephemeral objects with temporary materials and fast drawings that deal with the insecurity, resentment, deficiency and vulnerability in individual existence.
She often uses none-finite installation method, expressing the manner of hesitation and the pendency in the exhibition.
Her recent works are distinctly characterized as undisclosed stories arising from a unique relationship that the other person’s drifting life toward a particular fate has with the artist’s continuing life. Rhii was born in Seoul, Korea and studied at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Chelsea College of Art and Design in London and Rijks Akademie in Amsterdam. Currently in 2010, she lives and works in Seoul.
The most recent solo exhibitions include NIGHT STUDIO, Itaewon, Seoul (2010), LODGED. Ursula Walbrol Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany (2010), MUSCLE ACHES: ARRIVALS, Doosan Gallery, New York, USA (2009), LIE ON THE HAN RIVER, Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden(2008), TEN YEARS, PLEASE, Gallery27, Gyeonggi , Korea(2007).
The most recent group exhibitions include MEDIA CITY SEOUL, Korea(2010), EVERYDAY MIRACLE (EXTENDED), REDCAT, Los Angeles(2009) 7th GWANGJU BIENNALE,
On the Road & Insertion, Gwangju, Korea(2008), TO BURN ONESELF WITH ONSELF: Romantic Damage show, De Appel, Amsterdam(2008), 10th ISTANBUL BIENNALE, Dream House, Antrepo, Istanbul(2007) etc. Art Books, ”Of Carts And On”(2009, Samuso), “Ten Years, Please” (2008, Darun Books), “Two” (2005), “Warming” and “Humidifying” (2002) and “Once You Lie Down” (2000), and the Monograph, “JEWYO RHII”(2008, Samuso), has published.
Jewyo Rhii is a 39-year-old artist whose work first impressed me in the Istanbul Biennale 2007. I have since visited with her twice in Seoul.
Her fierce yet extremely sensitive and emotionally fragile personality continues to intrigue me as these qualities so beautifully shape and inhabit her work in video, drawing, sculpture and performance. She is well-travelled, having shown at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Istanbul Biennale, Gwangju Biennale, and Düsseldorf.
Rhii also has exhibited in the Los Angeles and New York in U.S.
About Bahc’s sculpture “Unidentified (en)lightening object” from 1998 and her own version from 2004, Rhii has written “what really shows uncertainty is the name Bahc gave to his lighting piece.
Bahc liked the shape of the fluorescent bulbs in his piece because they are dung-shaped. Translated in Korean, the title became even funnier.
Bahc didn’t really believe in any certainty or any fixed value.
Life was surrounding him in all these wind gusts and high rises…” Bahc’s sculpture performs: it goes on for 3 minutes with a roar as industrial fans at the bottom expand the bubble wrap and lights turn on. The work then sleeps for 3 minutes before the cycle begins again.
Life and death, ferocity and sensitivity, repose and action all are at play in both artists’ work. Rhii's art is very much about daily experience only more so.
In 2005, after Rhii’s 2 years in Amsterdam and her final exhibition there, it became time to pack up.
Placing her work - including that which had come back damaged from an exhibition overseas--on 5 carts, she arduously pushed this new configuration of objects around the school halls for a half day and, returning back to where she started, into her studio. She was disheartened by the realization that all this would soon be in the dump until,
coincidentally, a curator visits from Seoul and proposes an exhibition. The work is then moved to the attic of a friendly gallerist where the works took on yet another form.
Soon after, the exhibition was cancelled, and the artist wrote to her friend “I have failed to have my work survive.” Several days later, however, the same curator suggests another approach, and a show of the transported carts opens in 2006.
After the exhibition, the works were packed again before moving on to another exhibition and configuration. In 2007, the works were shown for the final time
in an exhibition “Ten Years, Please”. During the 2 weeks of the exhibition, visitors could fill out an application to become a trustee for 10 years of one of the works on display.
The trustees were selected on the basis of their closeness to the artist, the condition of the space in which the work would be stored or exhibited,
and the applicant’s reasons for selecting the work.
After the works were packed and delivered, the artist provided documentation, a trustee contract, a hand-written history with photos and drawings depicting,
as the artist says, “the important moments of its life”.