Jiyeon Ryu writes about her work:
Many of us have a scientific worldview, from the atomic structure to the universe's scope.
We focus on development for the tangible world, which leads us to successful results; we can travel the world within a day and live till 90 or 100 years old.
However, it gives no existential guidance.
It does not teach us how to make ourselves meaningful.
We don’t know why we feel miserable or keep repeating the same mistakes or acting stupid sometimes.
I am interested in the meaning of ourselves in an existential way - how do we make ourselves more meaningful.
Mental health is at great risk, and it’s growing and growing.
This meaning crisis happens because we don’t have institutions to teach us.
We learn about science and history but don’t learn who we are and what we should do.
We all want to know our origin and be close to reality, our authentic selves.
I want to visualise this subject to the audience to suggest we must think about our meaning as human beings.
I use oil painting and sculpture to express my interest. I mostly paint figuratively of wise men, young baby girls and boys, revelling people, and animals.
For example, I painted the reading man, a family of lions and a monster and drinking people in a harmonic way to show the balance between my drive to learn the truth, controlling social behaviour and taming my desires based on Plato’s lecture.
I am based in London and educated in South Korea and Sweden.
Images and text courtesy the artist
Caption 1: A boy and his parents, 2023, Oil on canvas, 100 x 100 x 4cm
Caption 2: My imaginary friend, scientists, 2023, Oil on canvas, 50 x 75 x 4cm