NEW YORK—Do Byung Kyu‘s work is all about dolls and their symbolic and conceptual references to childhood fantasies and misdeeds. Outside the childhood playroom, dolls can sometimes be unsettling. Remember Chucky? There is even a name for a fear of dolls: pediophobia. Kyu’s work, therefore, may not be for everyone.
His paintings are on view in a solo show at Emmanuel Fremin Gallery. The exhibit, “Childhood Memories,” features large canvases showing dolls floating in liquid. At their surface, the visuals are pure and tranquil. The liquid looks to be the consistency of water, but Kyu’s work explores womb issues so he may intend for it to be amniotic fluid, which has appeared in his earlier work.
The most fascinating element of Kyu’s paintings is his technique. The works are acrylic urethane and oil on canvas, but the images are executed with such realistic detail and precision, they look exactly like photographs.
Kyu’s gallery bio states that dolls are the “perfect tools” for communicating his inner self: “Expressing himself by means of dolls liberates Do from the restrictions of the mundane world. By embodying in the form of dolls his actions and thoughts, dreams and desires, and even the instincts lying in the depths of the subconscious, he transcends the secular boundaries. Dolls are his alter ego, his other self that he can construct precisely the way he wants.”
“Childhood Memories” is on view from Sept. 6 to Nov. 3, 2012.
All photos © Arts Observer