A Soft Day: Danym Kwon @ Hashimoto Contemporary, San Francsico

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Hashimoto Contempoary, San Francisco // January 06, 2024 – January 27, 2024

Like a poet finds the world in a grain of sand, painter Danym Kwon sees the world in a bowl, a vase, or a pile of laundry. Her first solo exhibition with Hashimoto Contemporary, A Soft Day, brings together a series of new paintings by the Seoul-based artist that embody warmth and comfort, inspiring gratitude for everyday life and optimism for the future. Using a pastel palette to illustrate her serene scenes of leisure and respite, Kwon’s artwork inspires us to find gratitude, rest, and happiness inside seemingly mundane or repetitive moments.

Though the artist has perfected the depiction of pleasant tranquility, Kwon’s artwork was not always so optimistic. The artist began painting in her native South Korea to highlight societal issues, depicting scenes from the news or inside people’s homes. After a long hiatus from painting, she returned to the canvas with a transformed perspective on how her art could help her navigate adversity and inspire others to persevere. About her work, she writes, “As I passed through unforeseen hardships in life, I discovered gratitude and joy for my surroundings. To cherish and appreciate these moments in life, I want to see them from a new perspective by staging them in still life scenes, such as flower vases and piles of laundry.”

Influenced by MTV motion graphics from the 1990s and Korean “Chaekgado” still life paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries, Kwon’s tranquil scenes are surreal, happening in no particular time or place. Inside their nebulous surroundings, the miniature figures ride bikes in the spring, canoe in the summer, take long walks in the fall, and climb mountains in the winter. Wrapping these figures in warm shades of yellow and peach, deep blues and greens, the works are precious, like delicate vases and bowls, or cozy, like folded sweaters and blankets. Through careful, clean brush strokes, the paintings offer a moment to envision peace and tranquility; to hope; to “convey a message of love” from the world around us.

A Soft Day opens on January 6th, 2024, with a reception from 5 to 7 pm.

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