City dwellers know that convenience stores have a culture unto themselves, and although franchises continue to dominate and overtake businesses, small, independently run shops have undeniable charm. For the past several years, artist Lee Me Kyeoung (previously) has been adding to her ongoing series of paintings that celebrate the idiosyncrasies and appeal of tiny South Korean corner stores, which are increasingly facing closure.
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On view throughout July at Gallery Imazoo in Gangnam, Me Kyeoung’s latest works are an ode to these disappearing locales. Enveloped by lush cherry blossoms or persimmon trees, the shops are well-stocked with dense shelves, crates of goods, and advertisements pasted in the windows. Bicycles, benches, and the occasional folding chair stand outside the entrances. Delicately rendered in pen and acrylic, the paintings depict architectural and organizational variances that make each spot unique, while honoring the cultural ubiquities of these spaces.
Me Kyeoung has a robust archive of the quaint shops, which you can find on Instagram.
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