The Sensuous Heart Traveller

The Mews Gallery

16 - 23 August 2022

The J/M Gallery proudly presents a second exhibition from South Korea's 'Mews Gallery', lead by Rokhee Hwang, featuring Artist Ha Jin Lee.

Curator Rokhee Hwang, from Gangneung South Korea, is bringing a solo exhibition featuring Ha Jin Lee to the J/M Gallery 230 Portobello Road, running from 16 – 23 August, 2022. 'The Sensuous Heart Traveller' blends a multitude of geographical inspiration and experiences derived from Ha Jin’s upbringing in South Korea, as well as the many cultures and countries in which the artist has explored and lived in.

Location and origin has an extremely significant influence on an individual. For South Korean artist Ha Jin Lee, the expressions of human life play a significant role in their expression.

Whether it’s located in the corners of Mexico, the metropolis of New York, or the backstreets of Seoul – Ha Jin’s travelling experience transpires their adoration of human life onto the canvas.
Relationships and togetherness play a defining role in Ha Jin’s work, much of which is based on their time in Tula, Mexico. Sandy plains meet eccentric dashes of colour, providing an unusual-yet-admiring perspective on the atmospheres of the South-American locale. Subjects blend and contrast ever so meticulously with the vibrant and eccentric colour occurring, nodding to some of Picasso’s later works. Subjects are surrounded by expansive luminous environments, whilst keeping a string of geometric codes and symmetries in tow for the presentation of the human form. Some may recognize a strong influence from African-styles of painting, as well as influences from cubist and surrealist movements finding their way in Ha Jin’s work.

Although Ha Jin Lee is from and lives in South Korea, they are determined to incorporate the influences and styles observed from their global travels, whilst also blending their learnings and expertise from their South-Korean art education and experience. The artist is a recent graduate from Gachon University, and has participated in a number of shows in Seoul and Gangneung - as well as a group exhibition in Normandy, France in 2021.

Ha Jin’s travels have greatly inspired her paintings and the subjects depicted, blending global cultural influences and complementing cultural styles with one another.
Whilst the artist depicts subjects seemingly distant from her own self, Ha Jin states they are actually partly portraiture: “Many of the faces on the subjects are expressions of mine, emotional and physical. The emotions depicted often correlate with the stages of each painting. I long for the peaceful and tranquil nature of finding an inner space regardless of location, and trying to recreate that experience can often leave me frustrated. But through this frustration, comes a plethora of reflection and inner-dialogue; I remind myself that there is no such way of reproducing any state, but to bring the old into the new, and allow a window into the emotions I feel when travelling and observing these communities. Each painting is a search for inner-peace itself, made harder with the responsibility of presenting an environment or culture that I have found solace within, to a transgressive standard. And one which seems respectable.” Mews Gallery owner & curator Rokhee Hwang states: “As soon as I encountered Ha Jin’s work, I fell in love with it immediately. As someone who frequently travels and seeks to reminisce of the many vast cultures visited, Ha Jin’s work has a way of bringing distinct individual experiences in to collective ones, demonstrated through her blending of cultural styles and influences in her artwork.”

Running for one week only, the show runs from the 16 - 23 August at the J/M Gallery, 230 Portobello Road. The show will also be assisted in curation by leading curator Vittoria Beltrame, who recently hosted EU Diplomat Beatrice Covassi’s ‘A European Show’ at the J/M Gallery in July.