Choi Jeong Hwa & Do-Ho Suh: Installation Artists Extraordinaire
“There is a vocabulary that belongs to the art world that we all inhabit, but there always has to be something local, something that comes out of your experience, or the work becomes generic, pallid and weak…” Lynn Zelevansky (Contemporary Art, LACMA)
Art is inspirational, passionate, visionary and revolutionary. It often makes social commentary on the world we share and showcases new creative directions and ideas. The creation of great art is not effortless yet reactions to art are always immediate. I enjoy most genres of art especially art that makes me pause… Today, I pause to bring you Choi Jeong Hwa and Do-Ho Suh. Next time, we will meet Yinka Shonibare.
“Practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know.” Vincent Van Gogh
Choi Jeong Hwa and Do-Ho Suh are two of the featured artists at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (LACMA) exhibit “Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists From Korea.” Set to run from June 28–September 20, 2009. While the exhibit showcases the works of some of the most well known contemporary Korean artists, it also includes a few up-and-coming rising stars. If you are in the Los Angeles area, do visit and come share your experience here.
“Your heart is my art. Your shopping is my art” Choi Jeong Hwa
Choi Jeong-Hwa is an internationally acclaimed, Seoul, South Korea born and based artist who incorporates an impressive range of raw materials in his artistic productions. Considered the father of pop art, Choi masterfully uses items from the local community where his work is exhibited, to create and capture perspectives representative of that particular culture; often translating his observations into artistic installations.
“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself. Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.” Henri Matisse
Choi is known to use plastics; tons of cheap, colorful, mass-produced, malleable plastic for his projects. He also uses recyclable supplies, video monitors, real/fake food, wires, instruments, religious art, shoes, all manner of bric-a-brac/tchotcke, and light fixtures to create video art, computerized animation and remarkable sculptural displays.
“There’s no retirement for an artist, it’s your way of living so there’s no end to it.” Henry Moore
As one of the featured artists at the Los Angeles City Museum of Art (LACMA) exhibit “Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists From Korea.”, set to run from June 28 to September 20 2009, Choi brings a very well developed artistic eye to the event. For this event, Choi has created several contemporary pieces including three outdoor multimedia installations, comprised of computer animation, video art and sculpture.
“It took me 40 years to find out that painting is not sculpture.” Marc Chagall
Choi Jeong Hwa: Ok Towada Show
“With the most primitive means the artist creates something which the most ingenious and efficient technology will never be able to create.” Kasimir Malevich
For the first of three outdoor installations at LACMA, “Welcome”, Choi wraps the Ahmanson Building in brightly colored fabric.
“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” Jackson Pollock
“Happy Happy” is created from wire-strung, plastic bins, bowls, cups and tubs that hang down like the remnants of a giant psychedelic shower curtain. The third outdoor “Happy Happy” installation is an interactive project in which Choi has invited museum visitors to add their own plastic container sculptures to a section of LACMA’s chain-link fence.
“I am out to introduce a psychic shock into my painting, one that is always motivated by pictorial reasoning: that is to say, a fourth dimension.” Salvador Dali
What one finds particularly refreshing about this contemporary artist is the cheerful, playful, and colorful way he uses local materials, essentially junk, to engage and entertain his viewing public. Choi Jeong Hwa wants his audience to have an Aha! moment and a good time. His website showcases excellent, colorful renditions of his artwork.
“Being an artist is very difficult like all other things and having fun while making art is important.” Do-Ho Suh
Do-Ho Suh is a highly respected and popular South Korean installation artist based in both Seoul and NYC. He is a contemporary of Choi Jeong Hwa and is known for his gravity-defying, highly detailed, intricate and truly spectacular artwork. Do-Ho’s work focuses on the myriad ways humans use and manage both private and public space.
“I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.” Mark Rothko
Born in Seoul, the son of the nationally respected artist and scholar Se-Ok Suh, young Do-Ho was more interested in studying aquatic life than art. Se-Ok Suh’s influence gradually took hold and after completing his studies in South Korea, Do-Ho moved to the USA to study at the Rhode Island School of Design and Yale University.
“A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.” William Dobell
He builds site-specific installations that challenge our perceptions of space, our understanding of individual boundaries, and that examine the interconnectedness as well as the separateness of our global society.
“At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.” Leonardo da Vinci
Do-Ho’s acutely detailed works of art also offer a social critique which brings to the mind the global conversation we ought to continue having on the creation and distribution of resources, the importance of our collective power to enforce positive change, and the questions that arise around the subject of identity and personal freedom.
“The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting.” Andy Warhol
Art:21 Do-Ho Suh
“Believe it or not, I can actually draw.” Jean Michel Basquiat
Do-Ho Suh, as one of the featured artists at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (LACMA) exhibit “Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists From Korea.” set to run from June 28–September 20, 2009, contributed his famous installation “Fallen Star” to this event.
It shows a home partially destroyed with another, albeit smaller, home perched in the air, near it. Do-Ho’s works are exhibited worldwide and he has been showcased at, among a slew of venues, the Seattle Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the 49th Venice Biennale in Italy.
“The holy grail is to spend less time making the picture than it takes people to look at it.” Paul Cezanne
The piece that remains a favorite for Do-Ho, it gives him much satisfaction, is “Who are We?” It is a wallpaper piece showing miniature photos of people and could be viewed as a creative way of maintaining genealogical memories and ties. He loves this one for its simplicity and subtlety.
“Every good painter paints what he is.” Rembrandt van Rijn
Sometimes art and artists can get so serious that the basic point of it all is lost; art is meant to be enjoyed, collected, shared, and ultimately, to enrich our enjoyment of the creative process. What do you think?
Photo Credits: Kirk McKoy for The LA Times
Flower Flower photo by Romy Petrick
Misc Photos from various Media sources including Choi Jeong Hwa’s website
Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©