“The Other World” is a survey exhibition of paintings by Melbourne-based artist Shin Jaedon. Born in South Korea in 1959, Shin migrated to Australia in 2007. The exhibition features oil paintings selected from distinct bodies of works, created over the previous ten-year period. The prolific nature of Shin’s studio practice is glimpsed in the selection of paintings. Shin’s themes include his personal responses to Melbourne along with memories of life in South Korea. The contrast between the two localities is a noteworthy feature of Shin’s practice, especially so when one considers the artist’s responses to the divide between North and South Korea, as contrasted with the multicultural environs of Melbourne.
For the title of the exhibition, ‘The Other World’, inspiration stems from the perceived psychological spaces detected in many of the paintings. The suggestion of ‘otherness’, which arises for instance, in the artist’s depictions of scenes beyond the 38th Parallel or ‘demilitarised zone (DMZ)’ between the two Koreas, highlights those elements of difference between the contrasting systems. Shin’s fascination with humans as ‘relational beings’ is apparent also in his depictions of life in Melbourne. Included here are cafe scenes and the tense theatre of private house auctions as witnessed by the artist in his local neighbourhood. Shin’s bold brushwork and vibrant palette amplify the relationships and interactions between the self and other.