Biography

Born as the youngest son of RYU Gyeong-chae (1920-1995), a pioneer in the field of Korean abstract sculpture, and a playwright mother (1921-2009), RYU In left an indelible mark on Korea’s contemporary sculpture history before his passing at the age of 43 (1956-1999). He launched his career as a sculpture from a strong desire to escape from the shadows of his father and an irrepressible desire to work with the materiality of soil. Introducing precise and powerful depictures of the human body to the Korean art world in the ‘80s, where abstract and installation were the dominant mode of expression, RYU In came into fame as a figurative sculpture artist, winning awards ranging from Korea Fine Arts Association top award, Chungang Arts Association first prize, and the “Today’s Young Artist Award” sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Sports. Since then, he introduced new figurative sculptures by incorporating formal properties, along with the first combination of sculpture and installation. Adopting new modes of expression for traditional depictions of the human body, RYU In won a number of prestigious awards, and became known as a great genius of his time. However, due to excessive drinking and a variety of physical ailments including tuberculosis, hepatocirrhosis, and arthritis, he passed away at the age of 43.


He featured reconstructions of the most dramatic scenes, fusing the extraordinary senses he inherited from his father who was a leading figure in abstract art, a talent in stage production his mother gifted him with, and a unique sense of imagination, based on realistic representation. His innovative spatial interpretation conveys fundamental anxiety, indignation, and complex along with a powerful desire for life as an innate drive in humanity, expressed through distortions or transformations of realistically represented human bodies and theatrical props.

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