Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Art of Sook Jin Jo

Some arts are great because they make us forget about time or space. Others are great because they broaden our ordinary perception by provoking, irritating and confronting us with unsolvable questions. Actually provocation is the common means today.

The art of Sook Jin Jo is none of these.

It is subject to the passage of time, it questions the very origin and future of human beings as well as their relation to the society and the universe. She has once described her work as "expressive minimalistic constructionism" but in so far, there can be drawn a distinction.

Above all, it reconciles the opposites and bestows hope upon the viewer.
Her work titles sound like prayers that do not not belong to a specific religion.

One of her most extensive work is called "wishing bells / to protect and to serve", a public installation commissioned by the Los Angeles City Department of Cultural Affairs. It yields to create understanding among opposite parties, in this case the detainees of a new detention center and the already settled down Japanese community there. The symbolic meaning is complex and hardly to manage but the basic message is that all person's hopes and anxieties are to be heard in order to seek salvation together.

In her days of monetary hardship she started her bohemien career with collecting old wood that was thrown away and enhanced them with new life. In general, recycling is her favorite way to create. Crayon on a pre-used linoleum piece instead of oil on canvas, if you understand.

Her love of wood is one central theme in "chairs" - a compilation of old chairs collected in New York over a decade, arranged to begin a new common history.

Finally it is striking that the artist seeks to meet people and to interact with them. That can be on the streets or dusty basements of New York, with school boys in a distant community in Brazil or with a neighborhood in a Swiss town.

Her work already covers paintings, drawings, photographs, collages, assemblages, installations and performances. What is still missing in her mind is a huge theatrical piece. There will be a day for it for sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment