South Korean artist JIHI creates mixed media images on panel which, at first glance, seem to be simple, graffiti-like characters. These humble forms combine to create an allegory full of highly implicit symbols. Utilising this light and bright formative language, she explores the heavy theme of lonely human alienation and crooked social reality.

 

Complex concepts of personal interaction are reduced to symbols and patterns, a dialogue of colour and form. The worlds portrayed in these spaces echo with contemporary communication; shapes relay and repeat one another as if in conversation. They are functional and impersonal. Narrative is inferred and imagination aroused through short segments of text amongst the repeated symbols. Amorphous patterns of block colour cluster and disperse, as though reacting to the symbols as a person to a text message.

 

Allusions to the work of Keith Haring and contemporary pop art can be felt, as JIHI carves an immediately distinctive alphabet of fluid symbols to convey her messages. We ask ourselves if these works are an insightful critique of modern interaction, or a celebration of connectivity.

 

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