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“What is painting? It plunges the divine into perceptibility, it is an eye – it sees the times, it is abstract thought and makes worlds and inter-worlds conceive.” Markus Luperz1

Desert Desirant © Thierry Estrade Courtoisie / Min Jung-Yeon & Galerie Maria Lund

Two years ago, in the rotunda of the Musée Guimet (Musée National d’Art asiatique Guimet, Paris), Min Jung-Yeon led us into the unfathomable depths of a dark forest woven of birch trunks, entangled with copper pipes, topped with white feathers… on the path to reconciliation. Adorned with mirrors intended to “break the landmarks,” this fantastic immersive landscape, playing with the confusion of our visions, seemed to have to lose us in order to allow us to better find ourselves in the labyrinth of our memory, our fears, and our desires. “Integral part of the work,” the visitor, by circulating in the installation, “[participated] in the reconciliation.” That is to say, according to the artist of Korean origin nourished by the Asian traditional philosophy, to “the acceptance of the difference and the opposites” and of its traumas. 

Table Éphémère © Thierry Estrade Courtoisie / Min Jung-Yeon & Galerie Maria Lund

As spectators of her new dreamlike paintings, we are nonetheless called to “dream in her dreams” and to slip into the “inner lands” that she depicts in her strange floating landscapes. Lands of dreams, silent worlds, in suspense, Desert, Mirage… her large canvases, sometimes deployed in diptychs, lead us into the realm of indeterminacy – evoking sometimes intergalactic landscapes, sometimes organic chaos, sometimes the sparse deserts of Yves Tanguy’s levitating rocks. 

As in Quantum Mechanics, of which the artist is an enthusiast, everything seems to be and not to be. The forms, as if caught in a continuum of antagonistic forces, seem both real and illusory, as if suspended in their becoming, in their potential of existence and metamorphosis… 

Here, an ephemeral Table draped in white and surrounded by rocky wrecks emerging from a strange grey mist, seems to invite us to contemplate this “infinity of all possible states,”2 while The Gentle Rain, falling in an ectoplasmic trickle on the arid and deserted lands, seems to decline them, from the cartilaginous to the nebulous state. As for the parade of bony cliffs of the great Silence, crossed by a pinkish old trail looking like a cosmic sheet, could it be the image of the “uncertainty principle” and of impermanence, translated into an incessant fluctuation of appearances and disappearances, at the basis of quantum physics? 

Navires en silence © Thierry Estrade Courtoisie / Min Jung-Yeon & Galerie Maria Lund
Pluie douce © Thierry Estrade Courtoisie / Min Jung-Yeon & Galerie Maria Lund

Like the incredible coralline concretion emerged from a milky sea on an azure background entitled Desiring Desert, here we are open to all possibilities, at the frontiers of the real and the unreal, or more precisely, in the words of Ghislaine Rios, doctor in astrophysics,2 facing “a ‘Reality’ which does not cease to oscillate from the real towards the virtual and from the virtual towards the real.” 

2 Quotes from Les Bosons de l’art, Ghislaine Rios and Clément Borderie, 2020

Exhibition Min Jung-Yeon – Full desert – thirst, sleep, silence

Centre Culturel Coréen

20 rue de la Boétie, Paris 8e

Until March 11

Stéphanie Dulout