23 Jan Coexisting Contradictions
EN | ไทย
a solo exhibition
during 2 February – 10 March 2019
at Subhashok The Arts Centre
1st floor, Art Centre Bldg.
“Different materials, techniques, and genres are encountered on my painting space…
it is ambiguous to distinguish whether my work is oriental painting or western painting.”
Korean-born artist Gi-ok Jeon received her BFA in painting in Seoul and her MFA in Chinese painting from the prestigious Beijing Central Academy of Fine arts. She later moved to Bangkok and continued to study printmaking from the Department of Visual Arts, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Chulalongkorn University. Her catalog of work shows her to be an artist that is innovative, combining techniques across materials. Her works range from embroidery to woodcuts to painting to weaving; with her use of these intercultural techniques touching upon content that is associated with multicultural identity, motherhood, and daily life. The works reference her Korean heritage, Chinese aesthetic and Thai life with each exhibition. Her solo exhibitions have been held at the Beijing International Art Palace Museum, Chulalongkorn University and Subhashok the Arts Centre, also joining in group exhibitions at the Korean Cultural Center of Thailand, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, the Mu Project in Washington D.C and the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Beijing. Most recently she has shown at the Kunming art biennale in China.
This is her second solo exhibition with SAC and offers a new perspective on the concept of unexpected space. For this new exhibition “Coexisting Contradictions” she continues to develop her series with an overall social identity theme paired with the technical evolution of mixing materials seen in previous work. Her current perspective has incorporated the sporadic and ambiguous circumstances of people and objects randomly meeting in everyday life.
This exhibition was born of an 11-month residence in Chiang Mai that saw Gi-ok as an invited lecturer to the Painting Department of Chiang Mai University. During this period Gi-ok became interested in exploring how new relationships or events occur in situations when different materials and techniques are accidentally or inevitably coexisting in a space. As in the case when we encounter strangers or strange experiences in a space called a “new society”, we are faced with the experience of encountering an unfamiliar opponent or space, and also an ambiguous situation. How do you know if you are responding to a situation clearly if you are not surrounded by a familiar language? How can the objects that surround you be disorienting if you don’t know the scale or location of where you find yourself?
The new series of stone works reminded her of the ink paintings in the oriental aesthetic. Collecting the stones and using acrylic paint, Gi-ok painted the geometric patterns of western abstracts onto the smooth surfaces of the stones. Boundaries became blurred between the real and the unreal as this visualization demonstrated well the ambiguous situations she has dealt with in between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, past and present, natural and artificial, sentient and virtual: contradictions that can exist at the same time.
These contradictory elements are encountered and overlapping each other in one instance. These various visual encounters are between acrylic paint and ink paint, brilliant primary color of hanbok and paints, various shape of stones and contrasting images drawn on the surface of stones, the oriental abstract and the Western abstract, achromatic and various colors, 2 Dimension and 3 Dimension. These contradictory elements are encountered and crushing each other in one screen. These patterns in her work express the inner world of the cultural shock and uncertain existence that is experienced when we live abroad. The variety of experimental objects connected to the traditional ink painting is the essence of her work. Tradition gives a foundation on which she draws out the search for her identity in an uncertain culture. Her paintings are first created with black ink that are dropped randomly on paper or fabric which leaves trace of abstract images. These traces are the bases for questions about her identity as an immigrant, artist, and woman.
For this exhibition, Gi-ok is further strengthening the characteristics from her motherland. The new work on stone respects an important material found in traditional oriental paintings, just as she has similarly used tree branches in her work before. It is a special material as well as familiar material, however, with this three-dimensional object; the visual becomes confusing when illusionary geometrical figures are drawn on it.
This series is complemented with the use of Hanbok fabric which is not just a beautiful fabric that contains splendid primary colors, but also represents the Korean identity that she has highlighted in previous exhibitions. The thin silk cloth holds a mysterious aesthetic that when combined with the other materials symbolizes the struggle of cultural identity in the modern age; being a mixture of elements and creating something new that isn’t fully formed but still ever-changing. This further exploration of abstraction in her work gives hints on the potential of non-traditional oriental painting materials, in this case on the techniques of object work supplementing experimental oriental symbolism.
As an immigrant and eclectic artist, she is solidifying her multiethnic identity and her relationship to her current life and place in Thai society.
Subhashok The Art Centre cordially invite you to join the opening reception of ‘Coexisting Contradictions’ – a solo exhibition by Gi-ok Jeon on 2nd February 2019 at 18:00 PM. The exhibition will be shown from 2nd February – 10th March 2019 at Art Centre Bldg., 1st floor, Subhashok the Arts Center, Bangkok. Curated by Linjie Zhou. More inquiries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. +66 2 662 0299, +662 258 5580 ext. 401. Follow the exhibition with official hashtag: #CCSAC
Opening Night & Installation View
Gi-Ok Jeon was born in Korea, received her BFA in painting in Seoul and MFA in Chinese painting from the prestigious Beijing Central Academy of Fine arts, moved to Bangkok and continued to study printmaking from the Department of Visual Arts, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Chulalongkorn University. Her solo exhibitions have been held at the Beijing International Art Palace Museum, Chulalongkorn University and Baan Tuek Art Center in Chiang Mai as well as A Space to Exist at Subhashok the Arts Centre, Bangkok in 2016. She has joined in group exhibitions at the Korean Cultural Center of Thailand, the Center of Visual Art Boda in Seoul, the Mu Project in Washington D.C and the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Beijing including ‘Bird Eye View’ in 2018 at Subhashok The Arts Centre, Bangkok. Most recently she has shown at the Kunming art biennale in China.