Hyangmok Baik: Forgotten By Us, Beers Gallery, exhibition review: ‘The more one looks, the more one sees’

‘Tongue-in-cheek quality’: Baik’s work on display at Beers. Photograph: Beers Gallery

Tigers, snakes, humans and birds comingle in the imagination of Korean painter Hyangmok Baik.

The artist’s solo show, currently on at Beers Gallery, offers a glimpse of a creative world stuffed full of colour and off-beat imagery.

Block figures with different skin tones – white, black, yellow and bright green – are juxtaposed with flora and fauna in vibrant hues, creating a phantasmagoria of cultural references together with an iconography that seems to have come straight out of the artist’s head.

Baik says he tries to ‘express the stories that no one can remember but me’. Photograph: Beers Gallery

Baik says of his work: “Sometimes we can remember the characters in our dreams, but mostly we can’t. I try to express the stories that no one can remember but me, as dreams I’ve never experienced, and as uncannily familiar moments someone has maybe experienced before, in the past.”

The large and richly-textured canvasses brush lightly by social stereotypes – the voluptuous and garrulous woman, the square-jawed serious man. There is a lovely tongue-in-cheek quality to this work, and the more one looks, the more one sees.

Hyangmok Baik: Forgotten By Us runs until 7 August, Beers Gallery, 51 Little Britain, EC1A 7BH.