D Contemporary is proud to present ‘In your Eyes’ Eunjung Seo Feleppa’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
The gaze within the visual arts remains one of the most intriguing ways to understand an artwork’s narrative. From the Old Masters’ portraits with the enigmatic, direct and diverted eyes, to contemporary self-portraits, the gaze has captivated the viewers for centuries, giving insight into psychology and social relationships in eras past.
Taking a more ritualistic, introspective approach, Eunjung’s portraits reveal an unmistakably nostalgic contemplation. Building a visual library from familiar faces and people seen in family photography albums, films and even strangers’ pictures found online, the artist connects with those faces through the collective unconscious. She creates a connection to our shared experience through the gaze. The eyes are searching for something, waiting for someone, searching for meaning; missing people, places, looking directly at you, appreciating togetherness in the moment; looking at the sky, enduring sadness, planning tomorrow.
These works follow Marlene Dumas’ process, where the artist addresses the image and the outcome as two separate entities. Through this process, the painting becomes transformed from its source image into a separate entity. Eunjung creates such a journey, building multiple manifestations of her mind, adding a different face to each one of her thoughts, connecting them through the gaze.
‘As I add colours, shapes, textures, and painterly gestures, it triggers certain feelings inside me. Then I start to listen to the painting, and become mindful about where this flow is going. You have to do what the painting wants to do. The result is always surprising. I tend to express my own feelings at the time in their eyes. In a way, these are not portraits of them, these are rather self-portraits of my own mind.’
Eunjung is a South Korean, London-based painter. She studied Fine Art at Hong-Ik University, Seoul and has exhibited in numerous galleries both in the UK and internationally, in galleries and institutions such as Highgate Fine Art, Museum of Modern Art, Busan, Gallery Pfo, Sutton House, Kingston Museum, Han Collection and the Korean Cultural Centre. Eunjung is a member of ArtCan and she was the recipient of the 2022 ArtCan Prize.