‘Adult Child’ is an ongoing series that Yang Hyun Jun has been working on since 2013. The series focuses on family and humanity. Family is a perpetual important component in Yang’s life while humanity to the artist is an immediate realization that comes only after one is able to grasp the greatness of Family. His subject matter highlights particularly maternal love, acting as both a profound quest into and a personal answer to the lack of a father figure in his childhood.
The female protagonist symbolizes the artist’s mother, who has been playing a prominent role in the artist’s life since childhood. The artist hopes to express through a fun and engaging way what a true altruist his mother is, who sacrifices a major part of her own life to take care of the artist and his family. Each work shows the same little girl with a different story in various settings, some with influences from movies and pop culture. She is always having a good time in all kinds of activities -reading, taking care of animals, traveling, playing music, eating etc. The cheeky smirk-like smile on her face adds on an amusing and comical element to Yang’s works.
A different animal in varying sizes accompanies the girl in over half of the artist’s works, in which all of them an adorable representation of the artist himself. The artist sees himself together with his mother in an imaginary world that renders possible what seems to be inconceivable in reality. The imaginary world is a reflection of Yang’s yearn to preserve precious childhood family memories that the artist holds dearly to his heart. When times are tough, family is and will always be, without doubt, a strong fence that forms the irreplaceable peaceful nest that Yang can find shelter in throughout time.
Another recurring motif is the little girl’s runny nose symbolizing innocence and a carefree childhood manner, painted with epoxy resin, adding a subtle yet signature layer of 3D effect to the artist’s acrylic works on Hanji, traditional Korean paper or on wood panel. This unique nasal teardrop is also present on Yang’s limited-edition vinyl figures.
Imagination is key to living an enjoyable life. However serious and intimate the inspiration behind this series of artworks may be, Yang hopes to playfully share and remind his audience the significance of genuine compassion and affection that humankind is able to share with one another. Why don’t we all show a little act of kindness to people around us or even ourselves every day? What is your inner child like?
Yang Hyun Jun
Yang’s ‘Adult Child’ series focuses on family and humanity. The cheeky female protagonist with her iconic runny nose in various scenarios symbolizes the artist’s mother and reflects the artist’s yearning to preserve precious childhood family memories through the imaginary world.