Latela Curatorial Presents Julia Chon Five Directions: Vessels

By East City Art Editorial Team on October 24, 2022

Fri, September 30 2022 — Tue, February 28 2023

A Vessel to Carry my Peace, 2022, Mixed media on Korean Earthenware, 16 1/4 x 10 in.

Latela Curatorial is pleased to continue our mission to create a livable ecosystem for artists in Washington through our partnership with Conrad Washington DC. Featuring a quarterly exhibition series that centers and uplifts local artists, this new program continues with its second installation “Five Directions: Vessels” by Julia Chon, on view September 30, 2022 – January 13, 2023.

Chon creates work across a variety of media spanning sculpture, painting and large scale murals. Her work focuses on honoring her Korean heritage and her notable portraiture aims to redefine modern Asian femininity.

Five Directions: Vessels is a site specific installation by artist Julia Chon, curated by Latela Curatorial for the Conrad Washington, DC.

Five Directions: Vessels features five kimchi pots inspired by the principles of Korean feng shui, known as pungsu-jiri (puh-ng su jee-ree). Incorporating both science and philosophy, pungsu-jiri is a practice that employs the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) in an effort to find harmony within the natural world. In practice, pungsu-jiri channels energy to bring balance and luck to a space.

With Vessels, each of the five kimchi pots represents the five directions (north, east, south, west and center), each of which has a corresponding color and symbolism. Additionally, each vessel carries its own potent message for the artist. For Chon, these specific vessels represent grief, sorrow, hope, re-birth and peace. Together this assemblage presents a cyclical embodiment of some of life’s deepest experiences.

These five kimchi pots are part of a larger series, Memories of Home, that Chon aims to exhibit collectively in 2023. This series includes a collection of 52 painted kimchi pots, to represent how many years the artist’s family has lived in the United States since immigrating in 1970.

Vessels is one of five participating exhibitions in the Third Annual See Support Collect Initiative, which is an intersectional placemaking and gap-filling initiative that focuses on collectorship of art by women and non-binary artists. SSC takes place both on Artsy and IRL in multiple locations from October 10 – November 20, 2022.

“We are very excited to feature Kimchi Juice’s gorgeous installation as part of See Support Collect,” says Laura Schofield, General Manager of the Conrad Washington, DC. “This initiative to support and elevate women in the arts is incredibly important, and our ability to showcase this local artist’s work to our international guests as they walk through the hotel’s atrium is truly part of the DNA of what it means to stay at a Conrad. We are thrilled to have the chance to take part in this program.”

The installation of Vessels also coincides with an initiative led by Chef Ria Montes, Chef de Cuisine at Estuary, the Conrad’s signature restaurant. The program aims to elevate women in the DC culinary industry through a dinner series called Miss-en-Place. Similar to Kimchi Juice, Chef Ria draws inspiration from her Asian background and infuses it into her craft.

“In my role as a chef, I am inspired by the Filipino women in my family who fed me,” says Chef Ria. “With Miss-en-Place, my goal is to showcase the incredible talent of women in the DC culinary industry by partnering with female sommeliers and chefs to present a truly unique dining experience. Kimchi Juice’s installation as part of the See Support Collect initiative is like Miss-en-Place through an artistic lens. I’m very excited to have guests experience her work and our menu through one experience.”

Miss-en-Place dinners will take place in October and December.

All artworks on view are available for purchase on Artsy.

“Five Directions: Vessels” will be on view September 30, 2022 – January 13, 2023 in the Conrad’s lobby.

About the Artist:

Julia Chon, better known by her artist name Kimchi Juice (, is a Washington DC-based artist and muralist. Chon’s work focuses on honoring her Korean heritage. Most recently, she creates Korean Earthenware sculptures representative of traditional kimchi pots. One of her first kimchi pots was acquired into the Smithsonian permanent art collection at the Anacostia Museum.

Chon’s work explores the relationship between cultural tradition and its effects on generational identity and the decisions Asian Americans make to form their identities. With a prominent Korean aesthetic in each piece, Chon merges her ancestry and traditions with the contemporary to convey the nuances of the Korean diaspora.

As Chon’s work makes its way from canvas to large-scale murals, these intimate portraits take center stage in an urban environment. Her murals can be found internationally and her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Washington DC,  Los Angeles, CA and Miami, FL. Chon’s clients and collaborations include NASA, Apple, the Korean Cultural Center, and HBO, among others.

About Latela Curatorial:

Latela Curatorial ( is a full service art advisory studio based in Washington DC that specializes in weaving together conceptual art projects and curatorial services for art collections. Through intuitive arts leadership, LC’s core mission is to continuously question how “support” is defined in the artworld and advocate on behalf of the artist and arts workers. LC’s attitude is to nurture with a matriarchal approach: creating generative (rather than solely transactional) opportunities for artists, collectors and communities alike.

Latela Curatorial’s holistic and sustainable approach includes organic placemaking, public art, large-scale art procurement, exhibition curation, collections management, and community workshops. LC is particularly passionate about raising the bar for support of the arts ecosystem in the nation’s capital. LC excels in working with art collectors as well as designers/architects/developers in an ever-gentrifying area and underrepresented art market to augment the area’s artistic currents and talents. In addition to client work and rotating exhibitions, LC helms two special projects: GLB Memorial Fund for the Arts and the annual See Support Collect: Women in the Arts Initiative.

About See Support Collect:

A vibrant nexus for contemporary art, See Support Collect ( is an intersectional placemaking and gap-filling initiative that focuses on collectorship of art by women and non-binary artists. In 2022, the Third Annual SSC Initiative takes place both on Artsy and IRL in multiple locations from October 10 – November 20, 2022.

About Conrad Washington DC

Conrad Washington, DC, is a contemporary urban oasis in the heart of the District of Columbia. The luxury hotel combines contemporary design, sophisticated amenities, and personalized service. With inspiring views of downtown across a range of event spaces and every guest room, as well as its location adjacent to premier shops and dining at CityCenterDC, Conrad Washington, DC, is an experience unlike any other in the city.

About Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Spanning five continents with more than 40 properties, Conrad Hotels & Resorts has created a seamless connection between contemporary design, leading innovation and curated art to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit of the globally connected traveler. Conrad is a place where guests can experience service and style on their own terms — all while connecting with local and global culture. Experience a positive stay at Conrad Hotels & Resorts by booking at or through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Learn more about Conrad Hotels & Resorts at, and follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Conrad’s lobby located at 950 New York Ave NW in CityCenterDC.