When I was first introduced to Kwon Kyung-yup through a friend of mine, I somehow dismissed her art as another example of the ‘battle damage’ fetish that seems to be a reoccurring theme in popular anime and manga. I remember a plastic figurine of Rei, a character from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion who was frequently ‘damaged’ being constantly sold out during the heyday of the series.
It was a few days later that I found myself thinking about her work again for some reason. There was something off about her paintings. I couldn’t quite place it at the time but a subsequent viewing showed me exactly what it was that had piqued my interest.
It was the sterile environment and the lack of blood, bruises, or otherwise blatant physical damage coupled with the rather blank expressions on the subjects themselves that intrigued me. The large amount of white space and surreal yet sterile environments seem to speak loudly in her work. At least louder than any apparent reason for these semi-androgynous teenagers to be wounded in the first place let alone in a seemingly calm medical facility.