In Nam’s recent ‘kidnap’ series, round faced, nose-less characters frequent her paintings. The works are about the weird and strange nature of the world and relationships, and these bizarre characters emphasize feelings of uncanniness since they are seemingly too cute and adorable to suffer or be violent. These feelings of eerie discomfort are further evoked through Nam’s usage of a wide array of colors. Finding precise colors that do not mumble about the truth of the world and relationships is important to her. Nam paints from full imagination in order to elevate the emotions that reside deep in her consciousness. The unassuming, almost naive nature of Nam’s characters adds humor to serious narratives, which in turn makes them- paradoxically- more serious. Throughout a series of paintings, Nam allows these characters to take her wherever they may, and guides the viewers into a new world. This leads us to the age-old question; Is the artist the mere summoner of a hidden world already in existence, or the creator of a new universe entirely?
Perfect Kidnapping is an expansion of Nam’s recent show, ‘Kidnapped,’ where she presented 25 paintings under the same theme. In Perfect Kidnapping, Nam completes the kidnap, introducing substitutes that can replace the originals, even disguising that a kidnap happened. The show starts with the paintings from the previous show, but new ones will soon substitute them one by one as Nam explores the difference between the perfect substitutes and the originals and makes new paintings at the gallery.
About the Artist
Growing up in Korea, Yooyeon had a very rigorous academic education and although she always wanted to be an artist there was an immense amount of pressure to study something more financially stable. Nam began art but then took a long hiatus- first to study business, then to work in an office- before finally they came to the U.S. to be a part of a larger art scene.
After realization and determination, action was easy. They have compositions, colors, and other elements influenced by Korean art and sentiment. Their artwork has not only helped them explore what their culture means to them, but to understand others as well in a way they hadn’t been able to experience before arriving in New York. They believe that all people understand each other to a certain extent and no more than that. That is natural, and everyone encounters other people carrying things that only he or she alone can understand, which Nam loves about humans and which they represent from their imagination. Occasionally, the lonely things understood by one person shine incomprehensibly with strange but beautiful colors. Nam strives to capture them as a colorist.