Bohyun Yoon: Neighbors

Read a review of this exhibition in Style Weekly here.

September 6—December 9, 2013
Opening Friday, September 6, 5-7 pm

Bohyun Yoon uses the special properties of glass and the play of light and shadow to create installation, sound, and video works that often incorporate performance and the body as a multifaceted metaphor. A primary interest, he notes, is making visible that which is invisible or elusive. He pursues this idea in his work as a way not only to reinforce formal aspects of his medium like transparency, refraction, distortion, and reflection, but also to reveal a deeper sense of human connection that supersedes physical, political, and social distinctions.

Yoon’s fascination with cultural diversity, sparked by his 2001 move to the US from Korea and Japan, gave rise to Neighbors. The 150 portraits that populate the installation depict individuals in his former Philadelphia community, where he simply documented the faces around him. Yoon silkscreened each photograph onto a glass plate, arranging rows of these plates in an open three-dimensional structure; in one variation, the artist sequences the changing tilt of each face to create a unifying motion that sweeps around the piece. A single bare bulb, hanging in the center, projects the images onto the gallery walls, doubling the portraits. With this work, Yoon compels thoughtful consideration of the people who surround us in our everyday lives. “I would like to reveal the meaning of who we are,” he says, “and what we are as neighbors to each other.”

About the artist

Born in 1975 in Seoul, South Korea, Bohyun Yoon received his BA and MFA degrees in glass from Tama Art University in Tokyo. In 2004, he completed his second MFA in glass at the Rhode Island School of Design. Among many other venues, Yoon has exhibited his work at the  Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, where he is also represented in the permanent collection; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Brattleboro Museum, Vermont; Hunter College, New York; Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia; and Chungju International Craft Biennale in Korea. Before moving to Richmond in 2012 to become a visiting professor in the VCU School of the Arts, he was awarded fellowships by the Kyoto University of Art and Design in Japan and the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia. Yoon is now Assistant Professor in the VCUarts Department of Craft / Material Studies.