Sijae Byun Wins Emerging Artist Prize at 3rd annual (e)merge art fair


On Oct. 5, Phillips Director Dorothy Kosinski and Curators Klaus Ottmann and Vesela Sretenovic selected Sijae Byun’s Wind #7 in Jungle as the winner of The Phillips Collection Emerging Artist Prize from works on display at the third annual (e)merge art fair. The award is the first of its kind for the museum, and Wind #7 in Jungle will become part of their permanent collection.

The fair was located at the original Morris Lapidus-designed Capitol Skyline Hotel in southwest Washington, D.C. Washington Project for the Arts selected the work of Byun to be on exhibit in the WPA gallery platform during the 3rd annual (e)merge art fair from Oct. 3-6.

“WPA is so proud of Sijae and our many talented member artists and we are thrilled to play a small part in advancing the career of Sijae Byun,” said Lisa Gold, WPA Executive Director. “We are especially grateful to The Phillips Collection, the (e)merge art fair, and to Hank and Carol Brown Goldberg for their support of this prize and for their recognition of Sijae’s unique vision.”

“This prize gives the Phillips the opportunity to support not only D.C.’s local creative community, but also to benefit from the international reach of this fast-rising art fair,” said Klaus Ottmann, director of the Center for the Study of Modern Art at the Phillips. “We’re excited to continue the Phillips’ long history of supporting emerging artists through this partnership.”

I asked Byoun to describe the work that was selected:

“This painting has multiple layers of silk, with ink and acrylic drawn on each layer. The theme is a mixture of architecture and nature with physical human body undertones of circulation.”

“This was my first working relationship with WPA. They were a great support in helping me prepare for the show. (e)merge art fair feels very young and fresh. They open the opportunity to everybody and it has a festival atmosphere. I enjoyed the other forms of art shown there.”

How does it feel to be in the Phillips Collection?

“It feels fantastic. I was very excited. I feel very honored and fortunate to have won the Philips Collection Prize.”

To see more work from Sijae Byun, please visit her website.

For more on the WPA, Phillips Collection and (e)merge visit: