1-2F, 80, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
Kazy Chan(b.1993), Hong Kong artist, who graduated from the Design Studies programme at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong.
Since leaving his position in the advertising industry, in which he worked a few years, he has been continuously creating art in Hong Kong.
His work is influenced by different elements of classical art with modern stories, creating symbolic characters with soft and blurry brushstrokes, resulting in the creation of unique characters and stories.
The theme of his work is based on children who are undergoing the metamorphosis of growth, exploring the other side of one’s inner story along with one’s imagination of the future.
Throughout his career in art, he has participated in different joint exhibitions in individual exhibitions.
Cheng Zhe (b.1985) is an artist based in Qingdao, Shandong, China.
He conducted his studies and mastered oil painting at Xu Beihong's Studio of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2004. Many of his notable works, including "Red Rise", "Memory of 19XX" and "Born after the 80s" are highly sought after, and widely collected by international, domestic art institutions, and private collectors alike.
Cheng Zhe is greatly influenced by his surroundings. His early paintings reflect a relatively nostalgic and pessimistic matter in a traditional, academic style.
His recent works are inspired by his joyful, kind young daughter who motivated him to overcome the hardships of the 2019 Pandemic. The artist newly adopted a motif of a “little girl” as an emblem of great love, kindness, and mercy he wishes to share with the world.
She is illustrated in various expressions, filled with joy, saddness, playfulness, and more, using rich but simple, gentle colours that embody her innocence and love.
Nagi, 何度見ても , Giclee Printed Wooden Panel / Water-filled , 91 x 72 cm, Unique, 2022
Native to Akita, the mountainous northern prefecture on Honshu, Japan, Nagi holds a B.A. in Business Administration from The Faculty of Economics at Tohoku University and works as an illustrator and painter.
Nagi started illustration while working as an office-worker but leaped into full-time illustration in September 2020 and planted both her feet in her practice. Since then, she has worked across a range of media and industries, including the Japan Railways Group (popularly called JR), CD jackets for musicians, books, music video art, ads, and collaboration goods. Nagi continues to explore new venues for creativity and is one Japan’s most sought-after illustrator artists today.
Her works are centered around depictions of sophisticated ladies in an unassumedly familiar and mundane–yet tidy–setting that could be from any one of our lives.
A figure lying supine in a dimly lit bedroom, looking up at her smartphone; nibbling on a straw tip while in a state of daydream; brushing her hair with a look of indifference, or perhaps of ambivalence. All works are captured from various moments of mundane life.
The artist’s soft and delicate touch of translucence and shades create female faces with deep and distinct ambiance. That muted, serene ambiance also carries tones of sorrow and burden somewhere deep inside.
Like a translucent but diffractive substrate, her works show the multifaceted aspect of womanhood. Spectators will find Nagi’s works gripping in depth and enjoyable in revisits for their breadth of imagery.
Self-taught painter 16mei (b.1995) started her artistic practice in 2017 with watercolors and in 2022 introduced acrylic colors to her paintings as well.
Her works draw the spectator into a space detached from reality; an inner space that exists only in her heart and mind.
In that place, she introduces a protagonist in the form of a young girl. Her big doleful eyes hold a pensive stare, at times surrounded by countless flower blossoms or butterflies, at other times shown with angel wings, and sometimes melting into dreamy meadow, all evoking a fairy-tale ambiance.
The subtle verdant colors add a shade of mystique and magic, imbuing a layer of old-mantel familiarity and warmth.
Aleksov Ana(b.1992, a.k.a. ALEKSOVANA) is a contemporary artist and graphic designer based in Serbia.
ALEKSOVANA received a B.F.A. in Graphic Design and an M.F.A in Design from the University of Arts, Belgrade.
ALEKSOVANA has worked on advertisements, books, and brand identities, which led her to develop her brand and participate in collaborations with apparel brands.
Her works draw inspiration largely from contemporary Japanese anime culture in the 80s and the 90s.
Her works take place in various settings encountered (or possibly encountered) in everyday living, but they evoke dreamlike emotions in those mundane settings. It is that evocation that the artist seeks as an artistic vehicle.
She layers uncanny ambiances in ordinary settings. Most of ALEKSOVANA’s works are tinged with melancholy. The anime-style eyes of the characters serve as windows to this heavy-hearted sensation.
Although the eyes too are inspired by anime styles, they are varied each time. Sometimes flowing tears will become flower petals, and at other times they will shine and gimmer like stars.
In this strangely familiar yet dream-evocative way, AKESOVANA’s characters embody specific emotions, assuring the viewer with warmth and reassurance.
Aleksov Ana , After school , Acrylic on canvas, 45 x 35 cm, 2022
Kim Jihee (b.1984) minored in Art History while majoring in Oriental Painting for her B.A. and successive M.A. from Ewha Womans University.
Kim Jihee’s choice of traditional material to paint with a distinctly glitzy pop sensibility has drawn the attention of the art world. In addition to canvas paintings, Kim works across numerous cultural domains, appearing in the media, in drawings, three-dimensional works, books, and even brand collaborations.
She is widely recognized for her Sealed Smile series of portrait paintings, first presented in 2008 with Klimt-Kitsch oversized sunglasses. The theme and message of hers have also been on a track of hope and desire which runs parallel to modern society.
The large facial-feature obscuring glasses adorned with various icons and badges of flowers, butterflies, jewels, and patterns which symbolize desire. The jewels, jocund colors, and Renaissance-style decorations complete a sense of aesthetic and even a kind of sublime.
Eyes obscured, their very sense of self and essence forgotten, the figure is garish with desire and hope of meeting the expectations of others. Rather than expressing one’s true self, the modern individual oppresses their inner being to fit the mold of what society expects and desires. The smile is subtle and ambivalent. The uncertainty hanging immediately below the bridge of glamor adds tension and unease.
The artist does not dismiss desire, or even assign summary negativity to it; after all, is it not our desire to find ourselves better tomorrow than yesterday which gives us hope? The two are simply tangential sides to the same geometric form.
Sometimes, the face behind the shades are not of people, but of auspicious animals. The switch is intended to convey desire, hope, and good vibes.
Through her paintings, spectators are asked to reconsider “who we are behind the mask, behind the colored glasses, and the garish adornments we have added upon our essence.” And to be hopeful in our return to splendor and sublime beauty of our very being.
Cheng Cheng Yi (b.1985) is native to the eastern Chinese province of Anhui, depicted in many classical paintings and poems of China with low-hanging clouds, distinctive granite rocks and twisted pines. He graduated from Anhui Normal University in 2011 and began painting full-time.
Only a decade into his practice, Yi has already presented extensively across China, with numerous sold-out shows in Beijing and Shanghai. Most recently, he has been shown in Europe and the English-speaking world.
Yi’s works often feature boys and girls in urban settings. The young characters in his works represent the upcoming generation, and the narrative is about the dreams and aspirations that they have. His characters have a notably stoic facial expression; possibly introverts. Overall, the drawings evoke an imaginative ambiance of mystery and fantasy.
Symbolic elements and icons are often in his works, such as coloring pencils, books, ice cream, apples, mountains, and forests. His soft but distinct use of near-primary colors in the foreground and more solid and monochrome colors in the background remind the viewer of cartoon-animation styles.
Unlike cartoon-animation productions however, Yi’s paintings are surprisingly detailed and revisits will often reveal further texture and delicate sophistication. The muted brush touches and subtle colors, as well as geometric balance all define the artist's unique style.
CY(b.1981, full name Wang Chienyang) began his artistic practice after graduating from National Taiwan University of Arts and is currently based in Hong Kong.
From photography to installation work to painting, CY developed a unique aesthetic to substrate his unique imagination and charm. Specifically, his imaginative works touch on the individual cosmos of today’s youth.
The distinguishment of the virtual from the real is blurred between the colored lines, where the lofty dreams and realistic practice are caught.
CY explores the cultural and social perspectives of the younger generation though the intersections of popular culture, history, and art in his works.
Inspirations and recollections from his own youth, such as comics, video games, and television shows are also featured in his works.
His latest Rainbow series of works feature two main characters–Haha and Hoho. The two characters are explorers on Earth, visiting from Planet Rainbow. As aliens to Earth often do, they encounter the unexpected, overcome difficulties, and undergo personal growth.
Ultimately, they manage to spread love to others. The artist tells many more lovely and adorable stories featuring the prismatic duo.
Haha and Hoho, as well as most of the artist’s characters have rainbow-eyes, inspired by the English phrase, “eyes are windows to the soul”. The phrase refers to the observant others’ ability to grasp an individual’s inner truth by gazing into their eyes.
The artist felt that the old saying bridged the present and the future, promising hope, and even the colorful brilliance of the cosmos at large.
Even at surface level, the vivid array of colors conveys a jovial energy to those who view it. They are simple yet reminiscent of childhood patterns and emotes, the characters and paintings resonating with contemporary familiarity, sometimes even fixing the gaze with echoes from our earlier years.