THEO presents duo exhibition 『GRRR…! 』 of works by artists, Hyojun Kim and Gieun Ro, who are selected by the gallery’s emerging artists discovery/support program from September 30 to November 4, 2022. THEO will not only provide exhibition opportunities and experience to the artists, but also explores various ways in which artists and galleries can coexist and grow together through the project.
“Savory little taste” that growls
There is a saying, ‘Cute things save the world.’ There are many endearing expressions that refer to those who have just kicked off in their paths, such as “baby taking off their steps” and “spring chickling.” Can cute things really save the world? Just as ‘GRRR’ or ‘으르렁’, the Korean expression for growling, gives off a childlike quality despite it being the sound animals often make when wary of an opponent, the two artists, Hyojun Kim and Gieun Ro, are also somewhat similar in the way they growl, revealing their sweet baby teeth towards the world and towards each other.
The ‘new, emerging’ title for artists is a mark of borderline. Such a position in this stark art world implicitly systematized by hierarchy is. (the rest is omitted.) Furthermore, these two artists are truly ‘super new artists’ that THEO has decided to name them “hyper-newbie super new artists”, preparing the exhibition with the hope of overcoming various boundaries.
As the two artists have very different characteristics such as gender, region, media, major status, and method of expression in the competitive art world, they are at a state of en garde. However, starting with the works of ‘dogs’ (Hyojun Kim, GRRR…!, 2022 / Gieun Ro, I’m OK, 2022), the two artists’ works share a strangely similar atmosphere (not only the visuals), allowing for room to explore various ways “win-win” can be achieved through confrontational boundaries. This is an objective that can be applied to both the gallery and the artists.
The margin where right and wrong is distinguished is also a borderline. And the essential virtue at this point is none other than the ‘attitude’ to deal with them. Perhaps this attitude towards the world (or the art world, or art itself) as hyper-newbies is a virtue that will work only at this point in the path, but there is no doubt that the artists’ cute little growls will someday become a great roar. Hence, looking forward to their ‘savory big taste’.
Hyojun Kim (b. 1994) does not put a limit on medium, utilizing media, paintings, and sculptures, and explores epistemological perspectives based on various events he has experienced. Kim is currently going through the process of establishing his own art view and worldview based on the aesthetic expression that began with extremely private experiences and positive feelings that induce public sympathy.
Gieun Ro (b. 1995) unfolds her art world by focusing on ink painting based on ‘Mukhee‘ attitude. Examining various emotions and experiences in human life, Ro personifies specific situations in the form of animals, while also reflecting their natural behaviors and habits. An unusual crude but humorous quality revealed in this process reflects oriental aesthetics.
Chanyong Chong (THEO Assistant Director)
 Which can be translated to ‘으르렁’ 1) The look or sound of growling by a loud, ferocious beast 2) The look or sound of shouting or arguing loudly in a slightly unseemly manner
 Limit of sectoral distinction
 Being on guard to prevent unexpected accidents (Watching the surroundings to avoid sudden intrusion, such as enemy raids or espionage activities.)
 The biggest characteristic and tradition of Korean art proposed by Korea’s leading art historian and aestheticist, Uhyeon Ko Yu-seop
 “Mukhee” means “playing with ink” and refers to the free creative attitude of ink painting that pursues the spirit of objects rather than the appearance of shapes