The Apparition: A Captivating Exhibition by Graduates from The Ruskin School of Art MFA Programme

25/07/2023

"The Apparition," featuring the works of five artists who have recently graduated from The Ruskin School of Art's Master of Fine Art (MFA) program. Yulia Kim, Benji Thomas, India Bruckner, Yingfei Lyu, and Lucy Meeber are all set to showcase their thought-provoking creations at Fusion Arts, located at 95 Gloucester Green, from 28th to 31st July 2023.

United by their creative prowess, these graduate artists have delved deep into the theme of ritual, each expressing their unique perspectives through a fusion of painting, sculpture, and multimedia approaches. "The Apparition" serves as a cohesive platform for these emerging artists to explore the profound impact of rituals in various aspects of human existence, from cultural and personal experiences to the recording of our history.

Yulia Kim's artistic exploration leads her into the world of Korean shamanism, where she uses sambae fabric—a traditional textile employed in funeral rites—as a poignant material link between displaced individuals in Korea and the process of grief.

Benji Thomas, on the other hand, captures moments of surrealism within the ordinary, seeking to uncover unexpected and mesmerizing aspects in mundane and repetitive life events. His large-scale paintings offer a glimpse into a world of wonder, where the ritualistic acts of daily life take on a new and captivating meaning.

Discussing the genesis of their exhibition concept, Benji Thomas reflects on the powerful common threads that emerged during their recent degree show at the Ruskin School of Art. The idea of ritual and ritualistic acts seemed to intertwine strongly with multiple artists' works. Funeral rites, habits, and repetition all became prominent themes, prompting the artists to delve deeper into the relationships between these concepts. The question arose: why were these ideas so prevalent in their work without direct influence from each other? What aspects of the world were they sensing and responding to through their art?

India Bruckner delves into the realm of artificial intelligence and its potential impact on human creativity and culture. Her work presents a parallel world inhabited by a saint who was burdened under the weight of humanity's knowledge, eventually transforming into a black hole—an intriguing and thought-provoking metaphor for the consequences of advanced technology on the human experience.

Intriguingly, Yingfei Lyu's meticulously hand-embroidered paintings explore the performative aspects of gender and the body, intentionally separating the two to liberate the body from the confines of gendered social pressures enforced by patriarchal society. Her art challenges preconceived notions and opens up dialogues on the fluidity of gender and identity.

Lucy Meeber's creations, in turn, venture into the interrelationships between the inner self and the languages of the physical and symbolic body. Her art becomes a form of clue-hunting, where viewers are invited to decipher the intricate connections that unite the human experience with the realms of the physical and metaphysical.

"The Apparition" promises to be an extraordinary exhibition, showcasing a diverse range of artistic expressions that challenge conventions and inspire reflection on the human experience.

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Oxford City Council Arts Council England National Lottery Funded Project Grant National Lottery Community Fund Oxfordshire Community Foundation Here for Culture Doris Field Charitable Trust BBC Children in Need Levelling Up South Oxfordshire District Council Christ Church College Jesus College