Gallery 44 - TorontoJune 5 - July 5 2008 - Opening: Thursday June 5th 6-8pm
Existing In Costume
Chan-Hyo Bae has chosen the iconography of queenliness to express his own feelings of cultural estrangement. Originally from South Korea and currently living in London, England, Bae begins from very simple, common sentiments of foreignness. His works—large-format colour prints, in which he plays unidentified female British monarchs from the 13th to 19th centuries (all his works are untitled)—initially appear to be a cheeky sort of wish fulfillment. One is readily reminded of Yasumasa Morimura, the Japanese artist who casts himself in Western art's biggest roles, and also, perhaps, of the phenomenon of cosplay—the subculture of dressing up like fictional or historical characters—which originates in Japan but has become popular throughout Asia and the rest of the world. Bae seems to be performing a blatant paradox: that of the outsider gleefully destabilizing the hierarchies of a culture about which he has admittedly fantasized, but which has forbade him full entrance because of an unalterable ethnicity. - Full essay by David Balzer is available on our website and exhibition brochure.
Chan-Hyo Bae was born in Busan, South Korea and graduated with an MFA from Slade School of Fine Art in UCL (2007), London, England, and a BA in Photography from the Kyung-Sung University (2003), South Korea. He has been living and working in London since 2004. Bae's work has been shown in several international exhibitions and fairs including the London Photographic Association Awards for Portraiture, International Discoveries, FotoFest, Houston, Texas , The Alchemy of Shadow, Third Lianzhou International Photo Festival in China and The Progressive Canvas, Gallery Wa in Korea. He was in Shots Young Photographers, Shots Magazine, UK (2006), and won first prize in Art Images as Research, University College of London (2005). His work has been collected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas.
Essayist: David Balzer is a Toronto-based art, film and theatre writer. His work appears regularly in Eye Weekly and Toronto Life. He recently finished a collection of short fiction.
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