Using a traditional ink-and-wash technique, South Korean artist Yong Sung Heo creates haunting portraits of Korean teenagers blurring the line between reality and fantasy. The artist masterfully captures every fine detail, like hair or freckles, but each subject in his artwork appears as a ghostly figure who looks straight into our eyes, as if these kids are contemplating our souls.
Their skin looks almost translucent and their eye-lids are disturbingly pinkish, but what magnetizes the viewers most of all are their eyes – cloudy, yet piercing eyes of an extraterrestrial creature or a blind sage. Their stillness evokes a feeling of the quiet before the storm. With their mouths half-opened, they seem to say something important to the world, but they remain silent with unspoken words vibrating on their lips. Despite being lonely, these kids don’t look consumed with sorrow; on the contrary, they look unlighted. They may be the next stage of human evolution, a strange flock of human angels.
Yong Sung Heo gives our imagination freedom to interpret his brilliant portraits. Their soft color palette and dreamlike lighting lends a haunting aura to each image. With his exquisite brush strokes, the artist captures emotions that create a meditative visual experience, leaving the viewers in limbo between the real and the imaginary.
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