Hayoun Kwon

Creating new fictional realities

A Korean artist, Hayoun Kwon creates profound video works around collective and individual narration and memory. Through depicting lived experiences, she explores the possibilities which new technologies offer to blur the boundaries between reality and fiction, real memories and fantastical interpretations.

Published on 13/11/2019

2 min

Born in 1981 in Seoul, South Korea, Hayoun Kwon was educated France. After obtaining her degree in Visual Expression from the École des Beaux-Arts in Nantes Saint-Nazaire in 2008, she continued her studies at the Le Fresnoy National Studio for Contemporary Arts in Tourcoing, from which she graduated in 2011.

Currently represented by the Sator Gallery in Paris, Hayoun Kwon has received numerous awards for her video works, such as the Prix Jeune Création in 2012 and the Prix Découverte des Amis du Palais de Tokyo in 2015. Her work has been presented at many international film festivals and exhibitions, notably in France, Germany and the United States. Hayoun Kwon's works not only take advantage of new technologies, but also question their widespread use and examine their limits.

Hayoun Kwon's works not only take advantage of new technologies, but also question their widespread use and examine their limits. Hayoun Kwon’s video works, which combine animated cinema and documentary, create an unsettling confusion between dreams and reality, testimony and interpretation, memory and imagination. Immersive, fascinating and even disturbing, her works produce unique individual experiences which reveal the ambiguity of our relationship with reality and memories.

Offering a true immersion in memoryscapes, the use of 3D and virtual reality open up the field of possibilities and unexplored realms, creating new “fictional realities”. Equipped with a virtual reality headset, viewers virtually immerse themselves in another world, while remaining physically in our own. The two realities intertwine and meld, shifting the real towards its representation and the representation towards reality.

Inspired by Walt Disney’s animated Fantasia, a VR work La Péri, created by Hayoun Kwon in 2016, offers the viewer an intense immersive experience of incredible technical complexity and rare poetry.

La Péri begins as a ballet in one act composed by Paul Dukas, known for his work “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. In Hayoun Kwon's film, the viewers are invited to go on stage to don a virtual reality headset. They are then literally immersed in the heart of an enchanting and fantastic 3D world in which they play Iskander, a dying prince in search of the “flower of immortality”, who a guardian spirit, La Péri, is trying to distract from his goal with a bewitching ballet.

  • 2012


    Hayoun Kwon receives the Young Creation Award at the international contemporary art exhibition at CENT QUATRE in Paris.

  • 2014


    The artist takes part in the Cinéma du Réel Festival, an international documentary film festival organised each year since 1978 by the Bibliothèque Publique d’Information (BPI) at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

  • 2015


    Hayoun Kown wins the Prix Découverte des amis du Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

  • 2017


    She participates in the international documentary film festival Doc Fortnight at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) in New York, USA.

The Institut français and the artist

The La Péri virtual reality experience on which Hayoun Kown collaborated is available as part of the French diplomatic network's mobile, modular programming offer: CultureVR – La Sélection. Find out more about the CultureVR – La Sélection catalogue

L'institut français, LAB