I Will Be Your Mirror


Artists: Valery Jung Estabrook, Hyunjung Rhee, Myung Gyun You
curated by Michelle Yun

November 2nd, 2018 — November 25th, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, November 2nd, 6pm-8pm

131 Chrystie Street, New York, NY 10002



Hyunjung Rhee Corpora-Lovers, 2018 Silicone rubber band (results from Entangled Descriptions), metal structures 196 x 32 x 27 in
Hyunjung Rhee “Corpora-Lovers” (2018, Silicone rubber band (results from Entangled Descriptions), metal structures, 196 x 32 x 27 in)

AHL Foundation and SFA Projects are pleased to present I Will Be Your Mirror, the 15th annual winners exhibition of the AHL Foundation’s Contemporary Visual Art Awards, on view from November 2nd through 25th, 2018.

This group exhibition features works by winners Valery Jung Estabrook, Hyunjung Rhee, and Myung Gyun You, curated by Michelle Yun, the senior curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Asia Society Museum.

"Five Twenty Two" (2018, 25 unique single channel videos installed on 7” tablets)
Valery Jung Estabrook “Five Twenty Two” (2018, 25 unique single channel videos installed on 7” tablets)

Gold award recipient Valery Jung Estabrook, Silver award recipient Hyunjung Rhee, and Bronze award recipient Myung Gyun You bring us into intimate parts of their introspection, taking the audience into private conversations that creates a broader discussion to hold within man and nature.

When considered together their respective projects, included in this exhibition, illuminate timely societal issues that have a compelling universal resonance. World cultures have become increasingly diverse in the age of globalization as seen through the multimedia works.

I Will Be Your Mirror features works not confined by a theme or criteria but works representative of the artist’s own narrative. Each piece stands alone from each other through usage of various media and application, yet show an equally compelling message by addressing the viewer through manipulation of space and mind. Each artist takes their identity into their own hands, confronting and manipulating it for the audience; challenging what is the self, how and what defines it, whether it is within ourselves, or beyond to the natural world.

Myung Gyun You "The Forest of History, 17-3-1" (2017 Soil and mixed media, 18 x 15 x 4 in)
Myung Gyun You “The Forest of History, 17-3-1” (2017 Soil and mixed media, 18 x 15 x 4 in)

Valery Jung Estabrook displays her own cultural identity as a biracial Korean American, raised in the southern regions of the United States. Her installation piece Hometown Hero (Chink), directly challenges the derogatory and racist slur in the context of alienation of Asians in her hometown and their parallel rise to the standard “model minority.”  The broadening of cultural influences has not necessarily eradicated the jarring disconnect some as some minorities continue to experience within their adopted communities around them.

Hyunjung Rhee explores the problems and fallacies that are constant among communication. Misunderstandings and miscommunication can be exacerbated by technology as society relies more heavily on email, texts, and social media as the primary means of communication. She playfully takes this phenomenon to the extreme with her interactive, kinetic text-based installations. Through this manipulation of machines built on binaries, she showcases an infinite process of meaningless transmission, symbolizing the failure of human speech as a whole.

Myung Gyun You creates primordial sculptures to take on his relationship with the natural world and how it has shaped himself as a person and artist. Our environment undisputedly shapes and fosters our lives. Though most view life and death as separate notions, You views them as strong connections that keep the natural world cyclic. His works are a direct result of his time spent in nature. Fashioned from earth and other organic materials, his tactile surfaces serve as a reminder of the relationship between nature and humankind as well as the vast power of nature, a force that is all encompassing and larger than our collective differences.    

These three artists, each in their own way, are responding to the pressing social, environmental, and cultural issues that will determine our collective fate. Their thoughtful reflections raise many questions that press us to carefully consider the best way forward to foster a more inclusive and sustainable world for future generations.

The opening reception will be held on Friday, November 2nd, 2018 from 6pm to 8pm at SFA Projects. The three artists will be present at the event.