January 18 - February 25, 2023
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Piramide Building, 1F, 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato-ku

For her first presentation of work in Japan, Perrotin Tokyo is pleased to present a new suite of paintings and drawings by GaHee Park. Born in South Korea and based in Montreal, Canada, Park’s art draws inspiration from her upbringing in Seoul, as well as her initial observations of life in the United States. Both personal and fantastical, Park’s paintings explore domestic intimacy and desire in her provocative vignettes of everyday objects and gestures. Eveningness represents the artist’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.


View of the exhibition "Eveningness" at Perrotin Tokyo. Photo by Keizo Kioku. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.
View of the exhibition "Eveningness" at Perrotin Tokyo. Photo by Keizo Kioku. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.
View of the exhibition "Eveningness" at Perrotin Tokyo. Photo by Keizo Kioku. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.
View of the exhibition "Eveningness" at Perrotin Tokyo. Photo by Keizo Kioku. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.
Keizo Kioku

Figures, either entwined or captured in moments of solitude, dominate Park’s compositions. However, her work remains anchored in the genre of still life painting. Park draws the viewer into her world and experiences through sensual depictions of the body or quixotic portraits, yet the surrounding details provide the narrative and context for each work.


The painting Domaine de Fatigue highlights the balance of psychological tension and whimsy inherent to Park’s painting practice. A cocktail, tray of sardines, and wine bottle rest on a tabletop sheathed with a mint green table runner. A lone person wearily rests their head on a table, their gaze transfixed on the viewer observed through the martini glass. At quick glance it seems as if the person places their head on their own arm, but closer inspection suggests the arm could belong to someone beyond the picture frame. This scene nods to familiar intimacy between two people, with the person’s nose comfortably nestled against the wrist of another. A hand with stiletto nails, a recurring motif in Park’s work, serves as a metaphor for sensuality, as well as dominance.

絵画《Domaine de Fatigue》は、パクのプラクティスに内在する心理的緊張と奇想のバランスが際立つ作品です。ミントグリーン色のテーブルランナーに覆われたテーブルの上には、カクテル、イワシを盛った皿、ワインボトルが置かれています。テーブルにぐったりと頭を横たえた独りの人物の眼差しは、マティーニグラス越しにじっと鑑賞者を観察するようです。一見するとその頭は当人の腕に乗せているようですが、よりよく観察することでフレーム外の誰かの腕である可能性を示唆し、相手の手首に心地よく寄り添うという、よくあるふたりの親密な行為を示す場面です。細く尖った爪をした手はパクの作品に繰り返し見られるモチーフであり、官能的でありながら支配的であることの隠喩として作用しています。

I use animals, fish, insects and plants in my work to suggest these different realms and different living worlds co-existing and interacting in complicated ways. I like the curved shape of the shrimp and the way it is served in a cocktail glass or bowl hanging off the side. I fantasized about a shrimp that might be trying to get back home to the water and might think it is diving into the ocean instead of into a shrimp cocktail to be served and eaten.

— GaHee Park

Born in 1985 in Seoul, South Korea
Lives and works in Montreal, Canada

GaHee Park’s paintings may be realized in the “naive” style that recalls painters like Henri Rousseau, but her subject matter is far from it. Often depicting romantic scenes where the idyll has turned sour, the sexual acts that seem to be transpiring in her paintings are at odds with their quaint settings, where art history’s favorite still life subjects—rotund fruit, cheeses, and bottles, appear on the verge of rolling off the surface of the table: so pitched is the surface, so hyper-stylized is her take on forced perspective. And yet, space doesn’t seem to recede in Park’s paintings. It’s cancelled out by the kind of flatness only a laboring love of texture and pattern can produce. Space comes to a halt as Park revels in woodgrain and brocade. Any indication of space comes courtesy of some framed element that seems to replicate the scene, albeit with some slight modification like a game of “Spot the Difference.” A window? A mirror? Another painting? Park revels in these ambiguities as well.


More about the artist
List of artworks