The level at which technology and the Internet permeated our everyday life allows for higher, quicker, and constant communication. Simultaneously, the rapid pace of our world dictates a state of constantly being online, which is developing into an overflow of information and visual overexposure. The hyper-connectivity is starting to produce a counter-effect leading towards the need to disconnect, rooted in identity issues, the loss of self, and digital anxiety.
A first-time collaboration between Grip Face and Miju Lee explores such generational questions in a set of works created due to a three-month residency in Mallorca. Presented at Galerie Joseph, the exhibition FIND AN OFFLINE SHELTER sums the artists’ mental, emotional, and creative dialogue in a series of works overlapping the manual and digital processes.
The residency in a traditional rural house in Palma de Mallorcabrought together the native David Oliver, aka Grip Face, and Miju Lee from Busan, South Korea, for a three-month conversation that produced works that highlight the similarities and not the differences. The results are delicate drawings, paintings, and sculptures in which it is hard to discern where one artist’s work begins and the other’s ends.
Grip Face brings the aesthetic of the street, considering he earned the alias by customizing his friend’s skateboard grips in his teenage years. Influenced by anime, fanzines, 80s punk, and 90s underground art, Grip Face expresses in various media, including work on paper, sculpture, public space interventions, and murals.
Miju Lee, on the other hand, exploits the potential of the canvas to create dreamy scenes, often in the landscape and still-life painting genre. Still, the patterned effects Lee achieves in her scenes that appear like materialized memories rather than realistic ones easily deceive the eye by having a collage quality. Lee’s visual patchwork of recollections resembles the artist’s habit of picking up clams and conch shells on the beach. Lee refers to it as “jupjup“, the slang for “picking up and collecting items” present in Korea’s MMO gaming community, and it could represent a key to interpreting her paintings.
The Pastel Universe
The works executed in unison by Grip Face and Miju Lee in the exhibition FIND AN OFFLINE SHELTER transform the gallery space into a universe inhabited by otherworldly beings, plants, and objects. Although pastels dominate the show, the works don’t evoke a feeling of softness and comfort. Instead, they herald the age of Posthumanism, adopting a visual language rooted in Manga and Anime that suspends their asexual avatars and yetis between fiction and reality, the tangible and the virtual, and gives form to concerns of an online generation.
Grip Face and Miju Lee at Galerie Joseph
Grip Face and Miju Lee reveal the limitlessness of imagination in their first presentation in Pairs, demonstrating what happens when you go offline. The project, consisting of the residency and the exhibition, was supported by Colección SOLO and LA BIBI Gallery in Palma de Mallorca.
The exhibition FIND AN OFFLINE SHELTER is on view at Galerie Joseph in Paris until May 20th, 2023.
Featured images: Grip Face and Miju Lee – FIND AN OFFLINE SHELTER, Installation view, Galerie Joseph, 2023. All images are courtesy of Colección SOLO and LA BIBI Gallery.