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Lee Jiyu captures stories about history and issues related to a place of her hometown Jeju and express how her feelings through paintings. Even though painting is limited just within a screen, she is good at expressing beyond the screen and time. She has held solo exhibitions at Project Space SARUBIA and Via Art Gallery in 2016 and Kumin Jeju Gallery in 2017 and group exhibitions at all over Jeju original town in 2017, Jeju Museum of Art in 2017 and Jeju 4.3 Peace Memorial in 2016.
(From Artist’s Statement)
This work is about the forgotten generation and those families who were scattered during three times of heart breaking Korean history; the colonial period, Jeju 4.3 and the Korean war. It was a time when if you thought differently from others you were faced with the danger of life and death. Also it was a time to leave your home because of political and ideology problems. I would like to show these people in my work, to remember those who have been lost physically and mentally. In modern history, there are families who have been scattered to the south, north, and to Japan. These people never had the chance to reunite and cross the boundaries that have been made. Furthermore, they have had to also fight with time and aging, a biological process that one is impossible to stop. The sea is the physical being that they have experienced but also a bridge that connects their boundaries. It is through the sea they passed from land to land. I tried to show the video to be one without boundaries. A boy who was a teenager when he left home is now all grown up and is a man. Before he goes to the north, he sends his mother a message. His mother is a haenyo, a woman diver, living in Jeju. Jeju is a location open to everyone as a place to visit. But this is a story of looking at Jeju from those who cannot return to their homeland.