The Power of the Gaze: Elli Chrysidou and Heejung Kim
For Immediate Release:
Paris Koh Fine Arts proudly presents the two-person exhibition “The Power of the Gaze: Elli Chrysidou and Heejung Kim” curated by Thalia Vrachopoulos from March 6th to March 31st with an opening reception on Thursday March 9th, 2023 from 6-8PM.
The curator has combined these two artists’ oeuvres featuring the eye motif in an effort to examine the understanding of this symbol in western and eastern sensibilities. Whereas Eli Chrysidou is from Greece considered by many as the cradle of western culture, Kim’s Korean eastern origins may offer a different interpretation. The gaze involves much more than seeing and has to do with how we perceive the world and specifically visual representations. Consequently, Chrysidou’s painted eyes because of her Greek background can be seen as apotropaic in character. In ancient Greece painted on the prows of ships and in Egypt appearing as the eye of Horus, the motif was used to avert catastrophes and bring good fortune. In many Middle Eastern and Levantine cultural artifacts such as amulets it appears as an open hand with the Eye of Fatima in the center, that in Judaism is known as Hamsa, and in Christianity as the Hand of Mary. The eye motif’s meaning has consistently been associated with good luck and as protection against an evil glare. Chrysidou’s Eye series painted with sanguine acrylic on paper, also speaks to Northern European Medieval history as she studied and taught art at the University of Nice in France. Medieval theories of perception correlated with those of Aristotle and Plato’s espousing the belief that the evil eye could send harmful rays to someone through the gaze. Her eye motifs are surrounded by different naturalistic sea and ground plant designs but the center of focus is always the eye.
Kim’s prolific career spans the multi-media range from sculpture, installation, art-books to paintings and installation. The eye has been a continuous motif in her works. Her Korean heritage considers direct eye ill-mannered and uncivilized especially when directed towards an elder or in terms of Confucianism, a higher-class individual. It is believed since the 17th Century that the Nunchi or eye force/power or eye measure, is like the sensitivity to gauge other peoples’ moods. When this is undesirable and for protection against evil intentions, a round Bat symbol is ubiquitously used on architecture, objects, embroideries and art as talisman. Kim’s tondos demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the eye motif throughout her work as seen in her use of the round shape and painted irises that alternate with stars and galaxies. This corresponds to the western all Seeing Eye of God in Christianity wherein the eye like the stars, watch over humanity. Thus, the function of the eye as motif is to be found in both eastern and western cultures as apotropaic image and symbol of watchfulness.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
the curator at email@example.com
Paris Koh Fine Arts, firstname.lastname@example.org 201 724 7077
Mon, Tue - by appointment only
Wed - Sat: 11 am – 6 pm Sun: Closed