21 Mar, 2022
Hyunmin Ryu's pictures depict the intricate unique world a child surrounds itself with while growing up. Ryu transforms, through his lens, the everyday life of his nephew into a macrocosm in which the viewer can immerse themselves in: ephemeral moments and fragile emotional landscapes unfold; and he achieves it with an authentic lyrical aesthetic.
At instants Ryu's nephew is portrayed like if he was isolated from the restrictions of reality and capable to transform any space into an adventure - yet caught in a world that is built to cater to the needs of adults. There is a sense of closeness and intimacy yet fragility and isolation to the pictures which in our opinion encapsulates the strange world of growing up, at the same time revealing that the world of adults is mostly void of adventures and wonders.
With global events like the pandemic it expands to manifesting the sense of being entangled in one's own thoughts and feelings, divided from the normal we knew, left to rediscover the borders of our comfort zones, like tiny knights with plastic guns or imaginary.
Hyunmin Ryu was born in Daegu, South Korea, and currently lives and works in Daegu. After graduating from Chung-Ang University’s department of photography, he graduated from Slade school of fine art media art MFA with merit. His work has been exhibited at various national and international institutions, including Daegu art museum, Pohang museum of art, Nikon Salon. Hyunmin Ryu expresses the concept of failure and imperfections arising from life in a minimal expression. His understated expressions take a strategy that maximizes the effect through small interventions or ready-made applications. His work is done through a variety of media including photographs, videos, and installations. In particular, in his installation works, the use of ready-made objects creates a different context by simply placing them in the exhibition space. Through this, the artist presents institutional criticism in a personal and somewhat emotional dimension. His recent photography work is focused on the limitations and imperfections of depicting a person in a photograph. He has won awards such as Daegu photo biennale excellent portfolio, Epson color imaging contest special award, Jang Du-gun art award, and Daegu young artist of the year.