Curator’s Office is pleased to open its ninth season with its fourth solo exhibition of internationally acclaimed artist Jiha Moon. The exhibition runs September 8 – October 20 with an opening reception on Saturday, September 8 from 6 – 8 pm. The artist will be present. Jiha Moon will speak about her work on Sunday, September 9 at 11 am.
Trinkets and knick-knacks, brightly-colored textiles, embroidered patches, dream catchers, images of fortune cookie fortunes, and even the occasional Twitter bird logo are but a few of several cultural signifiers that make their way into Korean-born artist Jiha Moon’s dynamic paintings and assemblage works. Souvenir Valise brings together over fifteen works that delve deeply into contemporary notions of tourism, commerce, cross-cultural relationships, and mutual understanding. Whether religious, mythical or historical, the human figure often played an important role in pre-modern European painting practices, establishing the individual as the exception and basis for all things within the world. Conversely, the East Asian tradition placed less emphasis on people and individuals and greater emphasis on the role of the landscape and nature in general. Devoid of a single point of focus, Moon’s work takes as inspiration traditional Western-style painting practices and merges it with East Asian aesthetics. The end result is layer upon layer of intense, bright-colored images representative of cultural exchange through the activities of tourism, travel, and interaction.
“The notion of tourism is central to my work,” Moon says. “Primarily, because the gesture of tourism, along with people’s purchasing habits abroad, tends to show how individuals view cultures beyond their own. It [tourism] filters through our perception and interpretation, which can often create misunderstandings. I embrace that in my work.” Three of the works in the exhibition are collaborative works with American artist Rachel Hayes; their collaboration extends this notion of multiple social and material perspectives and the rich possibilities inherent in cultural mis/interpretation.
Moon also addresses the conflicts that arise between hand-rendered craft work or folk elements and objects that are created using more sophisticated methods of mass production – processes that often mimic traditional techniques and call into question the authenticity of culture and tradition itself. Furthermore, the diversity of Moon’s work frequently underscores issues related to customs, politics, society, alienation, identity, and popular culture. Her use of simultaneous narratives reveals a complex and ongoing history of consumer culture and globalization in the twenty-first century, as well as its documentation through historical inscription and social media.
ABOUT THE ARTIST Jiha Moon has exhibited at premier New York venues including the Asia Society Museum, The Drawing Center, and White Columns, as well as in numerous other group and solo museum shows, gallery exhibitions, and art fairs across the United States, Europe, and Asia. In 2008, Moon had a solo exhibition at The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina. In February 2011, she exhibited in “New American Voices II” at The Fabric Museum Workshop in Philadelphia where her one year residency project was showcased at the Museum.
She is opening a solo exhibition at the James Gallery, CUNY and is also included in a five-person exhibition at the Maier Museum in September of 2012. Her work is part of such prestigious public collections as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; The Asia Society and Museum, New York, NY; the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; the Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; The UBS Collection, New York, NY; Bank of America, Atlanta, GA; The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; and the Neuberger Berman Art Collection, New York, NY among many others.
In 2011 she was the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation painter’s and sculptor’s award and in 2012 she won the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia’s Working Artist Project grant. She has participated in artist residencies at MacDowell Colony, Art Omi, Acadia Summer Art Program (Camp Kippy), the Fabric Museum Workshop, Headlands, and the Singapore Tyler Print Institute through the Asia Society, and has garnered numerous other grants and awards. Her work has been critically reviewed by Artforum, Art in America, Art Papers, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, The New York Sun, Creative Loafing, and The Washington City Paper among others.
Images above: Pied de Grue, 2012, ink, acrylic, fabric, embroidery patches on Hanji paper, 72″ x 47″ Bless (detail), 2012, ink, acrylic, embroidery patches, shoe laces, shredded tie-dye t-shirt, plastic knick-knacks, wood, sewing on Hanji paper on canvas, 27″ x 18″ x 2″