The Korean Cultural Center Washington, DC (KCCDC) Presents K-Recollection

By Editorial Team on June 14, 2021
Jisook Kim, The Microcosm, Mixed media, variable installation, 2020.
On view until July 13, 2021.

The Korean Cultural Center Washington, DC (KCCDC) proudly presents K-Recollection, a new online group exhibition featuring a diversity of multidisciplinary works by twelve returning Korean artists who reflect on their cultural identity and a year of pandemic life, on view until July 13.

Featuring about 30 works in total ranging from paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and installations to digital videoK-Recollection investigates each artist’s cross-cultural identity while residing in the United States and their ongoing relationship with their Korean heritage. Artists also grapple with fundamental questions about life and social connection in the era of COVID-19, in some cases presenting art created pre-pandemic alongside new works from the past year. The exhibition and artists are further divided into three thematic sections based on stylistic approach and experiences: Assimilation: Cultural IdentityVariation: Tradition and Modernityand Infinity: Transcendence of Time and Space.

By exploring their own ongoing reinvention, each of these artists whose work has previously been exhibited at the KCCDC highlights how their creative practice has evolved as well as their recollection of what seems at times like a prior life, pre-pandemic.

This special exhibition is intended to provide an opportunity for audiences to share in the artists’ undiminished passion and creativity during challenging times amid a global pandemic. The KCCDC strives to continue introducing art and supporting artists to aid in the recovery of the culture sector. For more information, visit the KCCDC website at washingtondc.korean-culture.org.

More about K-Recollection

Assimilation: Cultural Identity features works by Kyoung eun Kang and TeaYoun Kim-Kassor. Based on her experience as a stranger living in New York, Kang explores the formation of new relationships and bonds through her performance video works. Kim-Kassor visualizes in her drawings and fiber art a balance between her Korean identity and culture and the contrasting social characteristics she acquired living abroad in three different countries.

Variation: Tradition and Modernity features works by Stephanie S. Lee, Victoria Jang, Leeah Joo, and Julia Kwon. Lee’s contemporary paintings, inspired by the rich symbolism of traditional Korean folk art, depict human aspirations and desires that transcend time. Jang’s ceramic art expresses the idea of cultural hybridity based on her experiences interacting with diverse racial groups and environments as a Korean-American. Joo explores her cross-cultural practice by reinterpreting superficial elements of bojagi, the traditional Korean wrapping cloth, in her sumptuous oil paintings. Drawing inspiration from Korean patchwork bojagi, Kwon’s textile work aims to challenge others’ preconceptions on Asiatic femininity and discusses what it means to be a Korean American woman living in the U.S. today.

Infinity: Transcendence of Time and Space features works by Tai Hwa Goh, Sky Kim, Jisook Kim, Nara Park, Sui Park, and Nina Cho. Goh creates surreal three-dimensional landscapes with her installation art by superimposing vibrantly colored paper, patterned using traditional printmaking techniques. Sky Kim’s watercolor paintings evoke the essence of life with the natural connection of countless organic points and lines. Jisook Kim’s incorporation of installation and drawing illustrates the coexistence of life, energy, and time through repetitive, harmonious lines. Nara Park’s sculptures investigate the relationship between the environment and the individual through the traces that are left behind. Sui Park creates uncannily biological forms in her installations, brought to life by weaving together disposal industrial materials into cell-like structures. Nina Cho’s functional art objects focus on substance and exhibit moderation and balance inspired by the beauty of negative space, a key Korean aesthetic concept.

About the Artist

Kyoung eun Kang was born in Korea and received her BFA and MFA in painting from Hong-ik University in Korea and her MFA from Parsons, The New School for Design in the United States. She received the Grand Prize at the 8th Annual Na Hye-seok Grand Exhibition and fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts and A.I.R. gallery. She has completed multiple artist residencies including at the Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, NARS Foundation, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in the United States and Korea.

Living in New York City, Kang explores—and questions the meaning of—the process of forming new relationships with others and the connectedness created by transition. She has sought out an identity through such new connections and applies these attempts to develop and maintain connection in her variety of expressive formats including video, performance, drawing, photography, and installation.

Tai Hwa Goh was born in Korea and received her BFA and MFA in printmaking at Seoul National University in Korea. She later moved to the United States and received her MFA in printmaking and sculpture at the University of Maryland. She has participated in numerous exhibitions and residency programs including at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Museum of Arts and Design in New York, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, and Vermont Studio Center. She was awarded AHL-T&W Foundation Contemporary Visual Art Award in 2017.

Goh explores objects and installations with a sense of tension by contrasting opposites and creating layers of relationships. Her three-dimensional overlapping paper material, made using traditional printmaking techniques and intense colors and patterns, creates a surreal landscape and suggests the new possibilities of contemporary printmaking.

Julia Kwon was born in the United States and received her MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University and her BA in Studio Art at Georgetown University. She has participated in numerous exhibitions and residency programs including the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Chautauqua School of Art, Vermont Studio Center, and Textile Arts Center. Her work has recently become a part of the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Julia Kwon sews interpretative bojagi to comment on the objectification of Asiatic female bodies, challenge the notion of authenticity, and examine the complexities of constructing identity within the context of globalism, cultural hybridity, and intersectionality. She also explores community and personal relationship building through various collaborative projects.

Sky Kim was born in Korea and received her MFA in painting at the Pratt Institute in New York. She is a recipient of the National Korean Art Competition Awards, a Pratt Institute Art Grant and Jersey City Art Council Grant. She has participated in numerous exhibitions abroad including in the United States, UK, Denmark, UK, Mexico, Germany, Canada, and Australia and her work has received international critical acclaim in The Wall Street International, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Juxtapoz Magazine, Artlog, Artefuse and Arts Observer, and on WMBC-TV.

Kim captures the flowing, constantly evolving energy of living organisms at the microscopic level in her meticulous watercolor art. The innumerable points and lines in her work often connect and constitute the form of a circle, conveying a sense of cyclical spirituality—unending birth and rebirth, life, and death.

Jisook Kim was born in Korea and received her BFA and MFA in Sculpture from Sungshin Woman’s University in Korea. She completed residency programs at ARPNY and the 4heads Artist in Residence Program, and was selected for Diamond District Windows by ChaShaMa and the Governor’s Island Art Fair in 2018. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in New York and New Jersey.

Jisook Kim conveys a delicate coexistence of life, energy, and time in her artwork, using a marbling technique that embeds variating drawn lines throughout her multidimensional installations. These abstract and simplified patterns reflect the energy of the natural world in an artificial yet organic shape, existing in an ambiguous state just like the boundaries between reality and our ideals, or human life and the wider universe.

TeaYoun Kim-Kassor was born in Korea and received her BFA in Fiber Arts at Sungshin Women’s University in Korea. She received her MA in Art Education at Saitama University in Japan and her MFA in Fine Art at the University of Tennessee. Currently, she is Professor of Art at Georgia College & State University. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Korea, Japan and across Europe, exploring various artistic genres including fiber, ceramics, performance, and installation.

Kim-Kassor searches for a balance between her identity and the cultural and social character she acquired from her time spent living in Korea, Japan, and the United States. By combining soft materials such as thread, cloth, and paper with various modes of visual expression such as installation, sculpture, and painting, she expands the possibilities of her relationship and communication with the world as an artist.

Stephanie S. Lee was born in Korea and received her BFA and MS at Pratt Institute in the United States. Later, she studied traditional Korean Folk Art painting at Busan National University in Korea. She founded KoreanFolkArt.org and has been teaching and introducing Korean folk art, known as minhwa in New York and beyond. She is also running a nonprofit organization called The Garage Art Center to promote quality visual arts in the Queens community. She was awarded grants from the Queens Council on the Arts and the Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center and has participated in numerous exhibitions.

Lee expresses the intrinsic aspirations and desires of humanity that transcend time by reinterpreting minhwa, the traditional, nature-oriented, aspirational Korean folk art popular during the Joseon Dynasty, with a modern perspective. While the objects in her paintings reveal materialism, she investigates the essential coexistence of the positive pursuit of happiness and human desires.

Nara Park was born in Korea and received her BFA in Fine Arts and her MFA in Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Park is a recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship from 2018 until 2021. Her work has been seen in numerous exhibitions and is included in the collection of the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.

Park explores the relationship between one’s current environment and the traces that we leave behind after death. By utilizing industrial materials and breaking the boundaries between sculpture and installation, she questions the meaning of presence or absence of life and authenticity and invites viewers to look beyond the surface.

Sui Park was born in Korea and received her MFA and BFA in Fiber Arts at Ewha Woman’s University in Korea. After moving to the United States, she received her BFA in Environmental Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art and MDes in Interior Architecture at Rhode Island School of Design. She has participated in numerous exhibitions and received the Excellence Award during the 5th Textile Art of Today at Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum in the Slovak Republic. Her work is included in the collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Oregon and recently she was selected as one of two commissioned artists for the 2021 Site-Responsive Art Biennale at I-Park Foundation.

Park creates organic and biological shapes by weaving together disposable, inexpensive, mass-produced industrial materials such as cable ties. Her three-dimensional forms are connected to the idea of rebirth as a valuable creature, reflecting human life that pursues balance and harmony together.

Victoria Jang was born in the United States and received her BFA in 3D4M at the University of Washington and her MFA at California College of the Arts. She spent several years as the Association of Independent Colleges of Arts and Design Teaching Fellow at the Maryland Institute College of Arts in Baltimore. Jang received the Headlands Center for the Arts Fellowship, the Retired Professor’s Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, and the Murphy Cadogan Contemporary Arts Award, and has participated in numerous exhibitions in the United States.

Jang’s work embodies a complex cultural hybridization based on her own multicultural environment and experiences with immigrants of different races in the United States. Jang abstractly transforms Korean traditional symbols into her ceramics and reflects her own unique identity formed through cross-cultural assimilation.

Nina Cho was born in the United States and received her BFA in Woodworking and Furniture design at Hong-Ik University in Korea. She then moved to the United States and received her MFA in 3D Design at Cranbrook Academy of Art. She was featured as one of Five Breakout Designers of 2015 in Artsy and was nominated for the Pure Talents Contest at Imm Cologne in 2016, and later received the 6th Annual American Design Honors by Wanted Design presented with Bernhardt Design in 2020.

Cho seeks out Eastern moderation and simplicity and creates a balance and harmonization among objects, space, and people. Based on the traditional Korean aesthetic of emptiness, she presents functional objects by avoiding unnecessary elements and giving a meaning to negative space.

Leeah Joo was born in Korea and received her BFA in Painting and BA in Art History at Indiana University and her MFA in Painting at Yale School of Art. She has exhibited widely throughout the United States and Korea and has received grants from Pollock-Krasner, Puffin, and the George Sugarman Foundation.

Joo explores a wide range of subjects in her art, including history, culture, thought, and human life. By reinterpreting the superficial elements of the traditional Korean wrapping cloth known as bojagi, including its symbolic patterns, textures, and colors, and by utilizing traditionally Western painting methods and media such as oil, she visualizes her cross-cultural experiences from both East and West.

For more information on these artists and their work, please visit www.KoreaCultureDC.org.

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The Korean Cultural Center Washington, DC is located at 2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW.