Yoo Hee Chang

Two Toasts

April 7th - May 13th, 2018

“Every day I eat two toasts and one egg.”

We are pleased to present Two Toasts, a solo exhibition of new paintings and ceramics by Chicago-based artist Yoo Hee Chang.

Two Toasts is Chang’s first solo show, and serves as Extase's inaugural exhibition. Chang’s diaristic paintings portray non-linear narratives from everyday life – the mundane, the repetitive, and the quotidian are granted a privileged space within the canvas. However, these moments are skewed strange and made absurd due to her deskilled painting technique, material choices, and propensity to render both figures and objects in the painting three-dimensional, allowing them to protrude from the canvas and occupy physical space.


Chang’s upbringing in South Korea informs her desire to play with the grotesque in her paintings. While living in Seoul, she was cognizant of the pressures that are placed upon women to embody perfection, which often translated into appropriating Western conceptions of beauty. Through her treatment of materials and unique attention to form, her paintings can be understood as a retaliation and response to these ideologies. Chang often depicts women or their likenesses in her paintings, occasionally using herself as the subject via a self-portrait while other times depicting a lumpy, barely corporal form. These surrealist-inspired female representations, with their fluid identities, further perpetuate the narrative and serve as alter-egos, again contesting these notions of what constitutes beauty and femininity, challenging the viewer’s expectations of the artist’s imagery.


Chang’s suite of cement, oil, and papier-mâché paintings with receipts adhered to the wood panel via industrial staples allude to her material playfulness and notions of ephemerality, but concurrently longevity. The ink on these receipts, which document the salad contents of recent Freshii orders, will fade with time but the staple will remain permanent, denoting a description of preferences.


For Chang, objects, lists, and notes serve as journal-like content for her works. The practice of collecting and keeping lists is a recurrent daily ritual that informs her paintings. Additionally, Chang occasionally includes small ceramics nailed as attachments to her paintings. Two Toasts marks the first time she has created ceramics to be displayed as autonomous sculptures.

- Budgie Birka-White, Director and Curator, Extase

Yoo Hee Chang (b. 1991, Seoul, South Korea) is currently a first year MFA student in the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She received her BFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2014. Chang has exhibited at Sophis Gallery (Seoul), Jeffrey Breslow Gallery (Chicago), and Mercado Central de Abastos (Rota, Spain). She has a solo exhibition at Gana Art (Seoul) opening this month.

Image Credit: Jesse Meredith, 2018