Hyon Gyon (born in 1979) is a Korean artist who has been living in New York for some time. She has been much celebrated for the energy of her technically inventive works which make extensive use of fire. A soldering iron is used to melt satin and make it pitted and scarred. The imagery of the work derives from Korean shamanism, propelled by an acute form of psychic distress.
We were ugly is over twenty metres long. Shoals of gilded fish/eyes swirl about, disappearing only to resurface further along. In the upper register dark bulges congregate in a sinister manner. The swirls of volcanic colour hover above a series of bobbing skulls, a sort of heathen version of inferno.
But it is bombastic, the crescendos go on and on. Often the forms are lumpen and, worse, repetitive. Emotionally the effect is vicious, it seems to focus on horror and pain. The visitor can only stand so much shrieking before it ceases to register.
Hyon Gyon is at Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Road, Hoxton, London N1 7RW until 31 March.