New York, NY - AHL Foundation is proud to showcase its third virtual exhibition, Homecoming, jointly presented with Chashama. Curated by Young Jeon, an AHL foundation curatorial fellow, this group exhibition presents the work of eight female Korean artists from New York and Seoul: Liz Ahn, Sanga Han, Annette Hur, Jisook Kim, Joeun Kim Aatchim, Sarah Lee, Jean Oh, and Kigin Yang. This virtual exhibition will be shown from July 1 to July 31, 2020 at https://bit.ly/2CnaM03
Never before have we been so afraid of human contact. Now, we have come to a clearer realization that we have been sharing much of our lives together, including the air we breathe, energy, not to mention our emotions. Has there ever been a point in our lifetime that we were given an opportunity to be more connected, more understanding, and more generous?
Homecoming celebrates what we discover when we center our lives on our inner selves, exploring this process through the following four themes: Nostalgic comfort, restless trauma, immersive reclusion, and therapeutic restoration. These themes encapsulate the eight artists’ experiences of returning to self in the face of emotional and psychological struggles. In wrestling with their inner anxiety, they find consolation in memories of their real and imaginary past, and immerse themselves in a solitary and meditative environment. The featured works in painting, sculpture, and mixed media are labor-intensive. They reveal the trace of the artists’ repetitive processes as well as their intimate and continuous contact with their materials. For these artists, such methods of artmaking become the means for therapeutic restoration.
Through painting, sculpture, and mixed media, these artists give form to the notion that returning home or to the self is a cause to celebrate. The process of listening to and reflecting upon one's inner selves, our inner journey home is enlightening.
Nostalgic comfort: Sanga Han and Jisook Kim utilize the unpredictable spread of Korean water-based ink to extract the feelings of comfort. Sanga Han paints with Korean ink on fabric her inner scenery, in which her experiences and emotions from those events intertwine with fantasy. Han's narrative unfolds a universe that confronts her anxiety while establishing her identity as a mother and artist, combining major life events through metaphor and imagination.
Jisook Kim marbles Korean ink to explore the stream of time and space through cocoon-shaped hanging sculptures and drawings. Every line and distance between them accumulate natural energy and harmonize with each other.
Restless trauma: The subtle feeling of disturbance in our daily lives, while seemingly harmless, sometimes lingers in us and causes internal anxiety. This lingering sense of unexplainable trauma inspired the works of Jean Oh and Annette Hur. Jean Oh’s unfinished, a sort of visual marginalia, acrylic paintings search for imperfection. Her figures exaggerate the absurdity of hiding our pathetic, weak, and instinctive emotional moments that we often experience as humans. Annette Hur’s textile works use diverse elements from women's clothing, like traditional Korean silk: undergarments, shoulder pads, and bra straps. Where they came from, these raw materials are seen as debris and limited in value. Relying on intuitive construction, she repurposes the textiles to reveal their material fragility and vulnerability.
Immersive reclusion: Immersing themselves in a focused and isolated state, Kigin Yang and Sarah Lee utilize repetitive procedures to create a surreal, fleeting landscape. Kigin Yang creates collage landscapes which deeply focus on the process of drawing itself, intuitively exploring and discovering unexpected elements in her work. Sarah Lee’s airbrush paintings depict scenes that are reminiscent of fireworks, the night sky, and the galaxy, imbuing the familiar subject of nature with dramatic emotions. Having the appearance of a backdrop of a novel or movie, the works illustrate the fine line between the surreal and the real.
Therapeutic restoration: The works by Liz Ahn and Joeun Kim capture moments in their everyday lives as if they are from a cartoon or a photograph. The recounting of their daily lives expresses their wish to restore various connections in their lifeworlds. Liz Ahn employs domestic symbols and readymade objects in her painting and sculpture to investigate anxiety, humor, and relationships in daily life. Her work puts form to the unsaid and forgotten emotions of frustration, ego, shame, and love that exists within herself and the people around her. In her mineral pigment paintings on silk, Joeun Kim Aatchim imitates photographs of her mother. They capture her mother’s worries about her career as a poet, doubt about how she will raise her kids, and all the uncertainties that shake a creative woman’s life at 30. Aatchim layers drawings of her mother’s face to reflect on the connection between her mother and herself and restore their history.
This mixed array of artworks are derived from the emotional memories and dreams of the artists. By turning the spotlight on sustained inner dialogues, these artists allow us to share our vulnerabilities and re-explore some of our closest relationships. When we become patient listeners of our own selves, we can finally discover and celebrate our true being.
Homecoming runs from 12:00pm EST on July 1 through 12:00am EST on July 31, 2020. Homecoming online show is internationally accessible, 24/7, virtual presentation in New York.
Find more Instagram.com/homecoming.nyc
*The offline exhibition will be open this Fall at Chashama space in Chelsea.
Young Jeon is a curator, project manager, and cultural worker. She holds a Master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute in New York and dual Bachelor’s degrees in Arts and Design with a focus in Korean Art, and French Literature from Korea University in Seoul. Her academic, curatorial, and creative work focuses on Asian diaspora artists, Korean identity, gender, art education, and new media. She curated exhibitions and organized projects in both institutional-scale curatorial endeavors and cultural events. Young co-curated an Augmented Reality art exhibition, Ascension in Venice, Italy, and advised galleries, corporates as an art consultant at Spark Art Management, New York. She also advised ACAW (Asia Contemporary Art Week) on curatorial programming and worked with leading institutions and international artists in the United States and Asia. She supported production and PR for art fairs such as Armory Show, and UNTITLED, Art Miami Beach while serving as the content curator-organizer for KANA (Korean Association of New York Artists). Young has significantly contributed to the curatorial department at Brooklyn Museum’s overhaul of Asian Art galleries, Songeun Art Space and Sungkok Art Museum in Seoul. Her written work, interviews, and essays have been published in Public Art Magazine, Zer01ne, Critic-al and Art Triangle. She is currently the Associate Director for SPACE 776.
About AHL Foundation
The AHL Foundation is a non-profit organization formed in 2003 by Sook Nyu Lee Kim to support Korean artists living in the United States and to promote exposure of their work in today’s highly competitive contemporary art world. In 2004, the foundation established an annual competition that is open to all artists of Korean ancestry living in the United States. AHL awards four monetary prizes each year and has been mounting bi-annual exhibitions to display the winning works. Since 2008, AHL has advanced to an annual exhibition and broadened their scope of diversity and opportunity. In addition to nurturing Korean art in the US, AHL Foundation is committed to educating the public and invigorating the Korean community, one of the largest ethnic groups in New York City, through art history courses offered in the Korean language, special lectures given by respected art professionals, artist studio visits, field trips to museums and galleries, and workshops for artists and general audiences.
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Young Jeon email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org