Born and raised in South Korea, I earned an M.F.A. at the City College of New York in 1999. I returned to the United States in 2006 and made my home in New Haven, Connecticut. I’ve had eleven solo exhibitions in both Korea and the U.S., and participated in two major International Contemporary Arts Exhibitions (Busan Biennale 2002 in Korea, Officina Asia 2004 in Italy), and received a 2010 Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism.
I believe my role as an artist is to inspire and energize people with love and positive energy through my art. In my work, my interest is in creating a form that resembles a living organism by combining small, repeating images that assemble into a larger, more intriguing form. This approach employs some unique cloning and collage techniques, as well as a distinctive vocabulary. The special characteristics of these works lie in the repetitive, playful combinations of cartoon-like symbols and marks. When creating forms digitally, I use each small image like a living cell, replicating them with slight variations in their form.
The small and overlapping images and written text in my pieces, not easily decipherable from a distance, work like a cryptic code and serve as contemporary talismans wishing people well being, balance and happiness. In Magic Bubbles (2012), Happy Nation (2012), The Moments (2013), Purple Dance (2013) and Life, Deep Blue (2013), the abstract marks of two figures that appear to hold hands and dance together symbolize the DNA of harmony, unity and the joy of humankind. In the lenticulars for O Sole Mio! (oh my Sun! 2011) and The Moments (2013), the word “love” is written in different languages that overlap each other in patterns like hidden codes.
The imaginary creatures created by combining multiple images of monitors, curved pipes and tubes symbolize our contemporary, internet-based society moving, affecting, and evolving itself. The net-like structure symbolizes the accumulated valuable memories and experiences of human beings that last forever.
For this exhibition, I selected works done over the past three years and created a futuristic shrine inside and outside of the gallery. This mixed media installation is composed of drawing installations, canvas works, animations and hanging sculptures. Making use of the gallery's architectural characteristics, I positioned each piece to create this new space transforming the gallery itself into an imaginative and invigorating environment.
The Tower (2012) is a hybrid of drawing and sculpture resembling multiple buildings merging into imaginary animal shapes. It creates a corridor that directs the viewer through the space while allowing them to see through it. When viewed from the outside it looks as if people are inside a three dimensional net sculpture. It is this participatory involvement that completes the work.
Blue Mountains (2013), an animal or spaceship-like net structure makes my shrine dynamic with the way the structure appears to move into the gallery. To create this 24 by 15 foot mural, I painted directly on the wall with acrylic paint. The illusion of the net structure marching toward the space is achieved with the extension of the painted line from the wall to the floor with painted pieces of mylar. This net structure changes and distorts itself as the viewer moves along the work. Animations of net images projected on the background along with stickers of stars (symbolizing inspiration and healing) in different sizes give the flat wall depth.
My installation welcomes viewers, incorporating them as animated abstract elements when they move around the space through the installation, between works. Techniques used include lenticular prints, stenciling, airbrushing, sticker making, digital cutting (for stickers), photography, animation, painting, drawing, sewing and collage. The materials used are mylar, glitter film, printed paper, vinyl, tape, digital photo frames, acrylics, ink, and canvas.