Opening June 25, 2021 at views.yngspc.com
On view through August 1, 2021
STEAK is delighted to present Colloquialisms, a three-person exhibition by Jinyong Park (London, UK), Moley Talhaoui (Stockholm, SE), and Natan Lawson (Baltimore, MD). Park, Talhaoui, and Lawson visualize messages and language by examining linguistic systems, wordplay, or digital reproduction of analog scripts. Colloquial language, as opposed to formal or literary usage, is described as communication used in a casual or familiar way. Studies of meaning, such as when a word is pronounced or spelled slightly differently, reveal hidden layers of interpretation. Addressing bilingual patterns and challenges, as well as the nature of language itself to shape-shift over time, and from place to place, they issue a call to the viewer to respond, and to plumb for new understandings. A selection of paintings and works on paper investigate the subtle patterns and mechanics of everyday language.
Each artist’s methods and processes are extraordinarily different, yet they share a common curiosity about the way that vocabulary and languages intersect, occasionally humorously, often abstractly. In an ever more globalized society that relies on technological connectivity for business and long-distance communication, and AI-powered applications like Google Translate or email auto-complete, global communication is not only possible but streamlined, and so easy that we can detach from our own usage by inviting machines to complete our sentences in digital communications. We have commenced a gradual process of neglect toward the subtle nuances of regional dialect and vernacular, contributing to the complete erasure of many less-spoken and endangered languages altogether--making everyday usage more globally uniform across the most dominant languages. These artists, instead, privilege nuance and distinctiveness over generalization and simplification.
Jinyong Park’s work examines the sociocultural context of language, linguistic experience, and the rules that dominate our writing systems. Tessellating shapes expose patterns of linguistic flow and obstacles, along with a measure of failure or confusion, as an ongoing discovery of bilingual identity, and the artist’s psychological and physical experiences and new familiarities of language are translated as a visual record in richly hued, subtly textured paintings.
Stockholm-based artist Moley Talhaoui taught himself English at a young age, and his curiosity about the dynamics of language continue to influence the images, relationships between image and text, and titles of his works. His drawings capture personal associations of pop culture, and motifs of his Amazigh (Berber) heritage into eclectic, playful, and occasionally foreboding drawings on paper, often with mysterious hybridized Swedish-English phrases or bilingual mashups that provoke deeper, more intentional study of meaning, whether implied or obvious, esoteric or universal.
In Natan Lawson’s practice, definitions become a central focus of a variety of mediums applied to paper and canvas using a digital-mechanical process. The composition originates on screen, utilizing scans of antique textiles, posters, or sticker sheets which can be cropped and manipulated in an infinite combination of colors, sizes, and layers. Lawson utilizes a computer-controlled plotter originally designed to cut vinyl, which has been modified to produce marks with a variety of implements. Influenced recently by domestic crafts and household textiles like cross stitch or embroidery, these works take the classic Victorian era sampler as a starting point, in a study of the alphabetic form, legibility, and an exploration of the relationship between the handmade and the manufactured object.
Like spoken language, the art object is a means of communication. What does the artist wish to share with us, and through what shared language do we perceive or understand? Over 7,000 languages are spoken around the world today, yet almost 3,000 of those are considered endangered, and it is projected that if language decline continues at its current rate, about 90% of languages will be extinct within the next 100 years. What knowledge does a language contain, and what is lost when it is no longer spoken?
Please point inquiries to Kate Mothes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Jinyong Park
Jinyong Park is a South Korean artist based in London. Since she graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2015 with an MA in Painting, she has participated in various projects and publications. Recent exhibitions include AORA Exhibition III with AORA online in 2021; the 2019 and 2020 ING Discerning Eye exhibitions; Ghosts That Live Amongst Us with Warbling Collective in 2020; and Salad Days with Young Space online in 2019. Selected awards and honors include winning the 2019 A.P. Fitzpatrick Materials Prize and the 2019 Hopper Prize, in addition to being shortlisted for the 2018 Young Contemporary Talent Purchase Prize and the 2017 Griffin Art Prize. Recent publications include AVE Magazine, DATEAGLE ART, and Hopper Prize Journal.
About Moley Talhaoui
Moley Talhaoui lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. He is a self-taught painter, whose recent exhibitions include group shows Antisocial Isolation at Saatchi Gallery in 2021 in collaboration with Delphian Gallery, a three-person show, Humoral Theory at Beers London in 2020, and No Native Narrative, a solo online exhibition with Young Space in 2020. Selected publication features include Kinfolk Magazine, Absolut Art, ArtBrowsers, This Orient Magazine, Dazed, and KALTBLUT Magazine.
About Natan Lawson
After receiving a BFA in Painting, from RISD, Lawson returned to his home city of Baltimore to live and work. He has had recent exhibitions at Seasons in Los Angeles and RESORT in Baltimore. His work has been featured in KADIST. He is also the driving force behind Baltimore-based initiative Bike Powered Events, which designs and builds bicycle-powered activities that engage audiences in fun, creative, and empowering ways.
STEAK is a new exhibition program developing from the existing framework of Young Space (yngspc.com) to present exhibitions both online and offline of compelling work by emerging artists worldwide. A series of exhibitions on Views throughout 2021 aims to introduce some of the artists and ideas that will shape this new project. To register your interest in future STEAK projects, visit http://steak.gallery to sign up for occasional emails. To inquire about available works, contact Kate Mothes at email@example.com.
 The 100 Most Spoken Languages Around the World. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/100-most-spoken-languages
 “Languages on the Edge of Extinction,” The Language Conservancy, languageconservancy.org