Jung Hur: Change       \     30 October - 7 December 2014

"One idea introduced by Modernism is the practical myth that a painting is a map of its own making—and therefore, to a certain extent, its meaning. In other words, our sense of the artist’s time spent making the painting matters to the viewer experience in terms of how we try to understand the art."       - Dan Kany

These days, contemporary painting can seem more at home on a tiny, handheld screen than in real-space human encounters. In dramatic contrast, Portland artist and master chef Jung Hur’s imposing, seductively layered canvases assert their real presence and their spirit of inquiry invites the viewer into a deeper dialogue.

Rigorously trained in traditional Asian ink painting in his native South Korea, Hur’s fascination with the colors and composition of Japanese food led him to become a chef. Through the two powerful mediums of pigments and cuisine Hur has developed a unique poetics of painting and performance to explore his personal dynamics, the Chinese concept of yin-yang.

This exhibition, curated by Daniel Kany, Portland art critic and historian, and Sarah Maline, UMF Art Gallery director, brings together two significant bodies of Jung Hur’s recent work that together articulate a powerful and personal poetic.

Jung Hur grew up in Seoul, South Korea. There he learned to paint using traditional Korean brush techniques. He earned his BA and MFA in painting from the prestigious Hongik University.

Upon graduation, Hur was able to make his living as a painter. Within a few years, he owned and operated his own Seoul-based art school.

Hur married his wife, Sunny, in 1997 and they emigrated to America the following year.

In 2004, Hur opened the sushi restaurant Kirara on Carmine Street in New York City’s West Village. The small restaurant was extremely well-received: It was soon named to a top-100-restaurants-in-NYC list by Time Out New York magazine and featured in the Michelin Guide.

In 2008, Hur moved to Portland, Maine where he owns and operates the critically-acclaimed sushi restaurant Fuji.

But Hur has never stopped painting. In addition to three solo shows in Korea, the venues mounting Hur’s solo exhibitions in the United States include White Box Gallery in NYC, Spread in Portland, Maine and the Art Gallery at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Hur lives in Portland, Maine with his wife and son.