To be human is to straddle the thresholds of opposing worlds. On ships with sails we navigate an ocean of dualities, moving but suspended in time, coming and going as fast as we came. Dissipating and existing, we are masses of matter vaporized and caught in little cyclones and swirls of weather. With furor tempered by calm, there is unrest, yet there is a strange reassurance and acceptance of the eternal reminders of mortality.

“I want to give myself the gift of paused time”. In this endowment South Korean artist Hae Ryun finds relief in wandering freely the glades of our emblematic woodlands to reflect upon the poignancies of life and art-making.

The result is work that, within the confines of the four corners of a traditional painting, elegantly manages to breathe and exhale. In her work we can stand in the heart of the flurry of a snowstorm, be held in sudden suspension and momentary silence. We are sustained in a measured lull that spurs upon the recesses of consciousness. Slivers and sharp panes burst forth from foliage. We are folded and wrapped in swathes of vibrating and quivering moments, suspended and frozen. In the brick and carmine-hued painting Light Years Away II, light is broken apart in bright facets to signify a bursting as fast as the speed of sound. The piece Into the Breathing Forest, takes us on an unknown path into a woodland of darkness where moonlight hardly pierces the overgrowth, but all around and everywhere incandescent specks and particles illuminate what lies ahead.

In tracing the lineage of her multilayered works one can comprehend a quiet fascination with wind and sound—that invisible ever mighty element, nowhere but everywhere, always there but never seen, at once robust and delicate, howling into a roar and dissipating into the barest of audible whispers…The invisible element is rendered in hints and allusions, its indication made visible in sharp, bright shards of color and a flurry of lines outlining what is neither here nor there but is everywhere around us.

From any distance, the exercise of painting and the mysteries it keeps beckon and compel Hae Ryun to forage into realms that tap and flood our core with the poignancies of the Universe, its inhabitants, and its inhabitants’ convoluted (but brilliant) psyche. With this comes a further understanding of color and its emotional power. “What I’ve seen from painting is that color comes from nature after all. This means that our senses will also be forced to subconsciously ooze from nature.” It is said that nature has a heroic power over humanity, and maybe it is only natural to express the most elusive workings of the human mind through the landscapes of the natural world

– curated by Liv Vinluan