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Ian Orkis(born in Republic of Korea) lives and works in Seoul. He recreates dynamics between the unconsciousness and the reality while taking images of the old masters. His juxtaposition of impasto with realistic elements accentuates the contrasting appearance of substance and abstract.

Iridescent, Symbolism-inspired paintings are purposefully combining painting and sculptural layers of hologram to reveal reality and meta reality simultaneously. Modern society in which existences have virtual replicas, the relationship between the 'reality' and 'metaverse' continues to be the subject of Ian's research. 

His early works were characterized by greatly divided oil paints to approach mother-of-pearl colors that reveal meta image.

In later works, hologram is used to form actual iridescence. The juxtaposition of the hologram and highly realistic painting evokes opulent yet uncanny power. 

His recent design access at once recalls Gustav Klimt's art-nouveau portraits epitomizing decorative art.


My works are mainly about Modern Relationship. It expands the range of expression beyond the boundaries of genre by composing classical techniques and modern abstractions on one screen.

We live with numerous relationships. People try to prove themselves. Sometimes in a way that is recognized by others. Sometimes in a way that separates you from them.

However, in modern times, the essence of this 'relationship' becomes ambiguous. People no longer meet 'in reality', but communicate with virtual imaged partners through the Internet and SNS. The partner exists in real, but comes to me in a distorted state once in a virtual space. In this process, the boundary between the real and the virtual is blurred, and the essence of the object becomes unreachable and ambiguous.

I work on exploring these 'contemporary relationships'. Rather than trying to prove something or achieve a purpose, it aims to show the existing phenomenon as it is. The classical image, a fixed and unchanging entity. And I want to express this by juxtaposing non-fixed, distorted, and simplified modern images on one screen.

My early works were inspired by the subtle and unfixed iridescence of mother-of-pearl. Here, by adding the shape of an ambiguous person who is disappearing, it expresses an ambiguous 'someone' like a dream. The faces used were all influenced by classical paintings and sculptures. In other words, it was an attempt to juxtapose an object that did not disappear or change with a changing image.

And the work moves on to the three-dimensional hologram series. To explore light that actually moves, I used a technique of coating a hologram on a bumpy surface. Human beings are complicated beings that cannot be defined with just one or two words, but in the process of being digested under the name of social consensus, they are defined as a single word and their complexity is lost. For example, some women drawn in the past have lost their original identity or human concerns and are stuffed only as sex symbols. In other words, the image is flattened in a way that society has already proven. To express this phenomenon, I directly juxtaposed the plane and the solid.

Recently, I moved it back to a flat surface to preserve a painterly feel, and I started to simplify the hologram part more and more. The newly attempted 'half moon (tentative title)' series is a collection of reflections on the modern relationship described above. If the hologram series expressed a person's reality by focusing more on the self of one entity, the 'half moon' series directly introduces relational images. The extremely simplified gradation half-moon is actually my subject. It is real, but it comes to me vaguely in a virtual space. But rather, modern people feel comfortable with it. This is the most modern relationship.

In the future, I will observe modern relationships and work on realizing actual phenomena on and off the canvas. In the future, we will explore the above topics in a variety of materials and formats.

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