May 2, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Cindy Rhee is a highly respected Korean artist and teacher who is known for her unique approach to her subject, her bold use of colour and energetic brushstrokes. Her work is highly contemporary but grounded in classical training.
Fragments of Life is the study of two young men from two different cultures united in the same struggle; namely, finding their own place in the world as independent adults. Rhee was first drawn to this subject when her own son was at this stage, but through this collection she sets out to explore its wider social meaning. Rhee’s work is heavily influenced by Hong Kong’s unique mix of Eastern and Western cultures, its complex history and blend of religions. It is a city moving with speed towards an integrated future with the rest of China and that is reshaping the landscape for today’s youth in the workplace, in self-expression and in identity. Naturally, in an ever-changing world there will be those who fail as well as succeed.
In all her work, Rhee uses colour as metaphor for mood. Through this universal language, the viewer instinctively understands and empathises with the emotions of the sitter, whether they are from the same culture, background, generation or not. In Fragments of Life there are two distinct colour palettes: the fiery reds and vibrant yellows of the full figure portraits express the pent-up energy and youthful spirit of rebellion desperate to find its purpose; whilst the cool blues, greens and weak yellows of the face series convey a troubled soul struggling with its insecurities, doubts and fears.
This is Rhee’s third solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Her work was last on display at the Artists Abroad Annual Exhibition at the Royal Exchange, November 2018.