Body and Shadow

about Bohyun Yoon

Bodies, mirrors and shadows. Art by Bohyun Yoon comprises these elements in order to cut or extend, distort, reconstruct and fragment to create a chaotic image of a human. He uses mirrors for integrating reality and illusion. His work poses the question: what is reality? He takes advantage of illusion to explore and answer this question, using the human body as a metaphor for the people of contemporary society.

“In my work, the human body is the medium that stands on equal ground with the present audience and invites them to immerse themselves in a very specific place, therefore, the following equation is formed: Contemporary man=Human body in my work=Audience. Presently, I am interested in highly developed technology, science, medicine and other fields, and moreover, I am curious how human perception will change and be affected by this technology and what this development will mean for the human life. Through my art, I want to pose questions about the use of technology and its relationship to reality and illusion”.



Bohyun investigates phenomenological occurrences by experimenting with light and shadow — Shadow Show —, the ambiguous boundary between body and environment — Contour —, the smooth and seamless aspect of visual media by transforming the insignificant nature of fragmented wax pieces into a meaningful whole entity — Shadow —, the possibility or impossibility of seeing one’s self without drawing comparisons to others — Disembarrassment —, the relationship between the self and others by combining the viewer’s body and the participant’s face — To Reverse Yourself —, the unlimited numbers of reflections of truncated legs, torsos, and arms, by giving a provocative image of the depersonalized body, juxtaposed with the development of modern science that enables people to alter their appearance through surgeries or cloning — Fragmentation.


Born in Korea in 1976 and currently living in Richmond Virginia, Bohyun is interested in the invisible properties of glass — transparency, refraction, and distortion —, and continuously explore ways of making those properties visible. These invisible but real properties of glass are an appropriate medium to explore hidden aspects of societal conventions and stereotypes. He exposes socially constructed notions of race, class, and gender by combining images of the human body with materials that possess invisible properties. His work has been included in national and international exhibits including Renwick Gallery in the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston and Cheongju International Craft Biennale in Korea. He has also exhibited at the Shelburne Museum, Brattleboro Museum, Hunter College, Brown University, Collection Gallery in Paris. His work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, West Collection, and Song Eun Art Space.


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