"Jiha Moon is in a perpetual state of “other” as she mines numerous histories and cultures, distilling them into rascally works of art. There is no filter, just a quirky mix matching flurry of references. Mischievousness, rebelliousness, Jiha is the Bart Simpson of our scene and she perfectly exemplifies the new Atlanta.” - Daniel Fuller, Curator, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
Featuring over 50 works by multi-media artist Jiha Moon (Korean, Born 1973), this publication examines the rich cultural context in which the artist works. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Moon harvests cultural elements native to Korea, Japan, and China and then unites them with Western elements to investigate the multi-faceted nature of our current global identity as influenced by popular culture, technology, racial perceptions, and folklore. Moon blurs the lines between Western and Eastern identified iconography such as the characters from the online game Angry Birds and smart phone Emojis. They float alongside Asian tigers, Aztec warriors, and Indian gods in compositions that appear both familiar and foreign, ancient and modern.
Binding: hardcover Length: 96 pages
Dimensions: 11" x 7"
MARCH 11 – JULY 24, 2016
KEMPER MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
MARCH 15 – MAY 22, 2016
NERMAN MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS
In 2016 we’re trying to make sense of our monuments. Broken monuments, unfaithful monuments. Bloated monuments, impaired monuments. Monuments erasing centuries of history, strangely self-satisfying Facebook monuments flashing solidarity with victims of some far-off tragedy. On May 10, 2016, Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (INR) announced the removal and relocation of nearly 500 Soviet monuments. Debates continue to flare across the southern United States over the elimination of Confederate flags and statues like the life-size one of a staunch confederate soldier in the Mason-Dixon border city of Rockville, Maryland.
Moon’s witty and ironic work explores how Westerners perceive other cultures and how perceived foreigners see the West. Korean born, now living in the United States, Moon asks the pertinent question, “Why do people love foreign stuff so much? When we travel to other countries, explore different cultures, and meet with new people, we tend to fall in love with things that are not our own. People have a soft spot for foreign things. The world is so interconnected nowadays, how can you even tell where someone or something ‘comes from’ anymore?” In her work, Moon acts in the role of a traveler, and explores the notion that identity is not beholden to geographic location.
Honoring traditional Asian arts through her use of Hanji paper, Korean silk, and calligraphic brushstrokes, throughout the exhibition she plays with iconography and symbols that have been classified as “foreign” such as blue willow china patterns, fortune cookies (which originated in California but are identified as Chinese), Korean fans, and floating dragons and intermingles them with references to Pop and southern folk art. Her use of the peach identified in Chinese mythology as a symbol of immortality is also a nod to her home state of Georgia’s mascot, the “Georgia Peach.” Moon transforms a traditional Korean fashion accessory called “Norigae” into endearing quirky manifestations of various personalities, with such names as Gloria and Rachel whose hair is interwoven with eclectic items such as children’s plastic barrettes or Native American beaded dolls. Her misshapen and whimsical ceramics reference southern folk art face jugs yet are painted in traditional Asian ceramic glazes and motifs. At the heart of the exhibition, Moon presents an installation featuring perceived kitschy elements of Asian home décor: low wooden tables and silk embroidered pillows placed on Japanese tatami mats. Displayed on the various surfaces are her unconventional ceramic works reflecting her interest in the “beautiful awkward” in which she makes reference to a tourist’s desire to collect foreign and exotic elements to beautify their houses back home.
At first glance, Jiha Moon’s work appears as a mash-up of high-and-low brow cultural references. Upon further inspection, slyly ironic and humorous references emerge that are satirically filtered by the artist, who reminds us that our preconceived notion of “others” is not a true manifestation of actual identity.
Organic Matters—Women to Watch 2015
June 5 to September 13, 2015
National Museum of Woman in the Art
1250 New York Ave NW Washington, D.C. 20005
Organic Matters, the fourth installment in NMWA’s Women to Watch exhibition series, explores the relationships between women, nature, and art. Women to Watch is presented every two to three years and is a dynamic collaboration between the museum and participating outreach committees. The 13 committees participating in Women to Watch 2015 worked with curators in their respective regions to create shortlists of artists working with the subject of nature. From this list, NMWA curators selected the artists whose work is on view in Organic Matters.
The connection between women and nature has a long history, one that is fraught with gendered stereotypes and discriminatory assumptions. The contemporary artists highlighted in Organic Matters build upon and expand these pre-existing conceptualizations by actively investigating the natural world, to fanciful and sometimes frightful effect. Collectively, their work addresses modern society’s complex relationship with the environment, ranging from concern for its future to fear of its power. Through a diverse array of mediums, including photography, drawing, sculpture, and video, these artists depict fragile ecosystems, otherworldly landscapes, and creatures both real and imagined.
The exhibition features works by Dawn Holder (Arkansas), Jennifer Celio (Southern California), Andrea Lira (Chile), Françoise Pétrovitch (France), Jiha Moon (Georgia), Goldschmied & Chiari (Italy), Lara Shipley (Greater Kansas City Area), Rebecca Hutchinson (Massachusetts), Mary Tsiongas (New Mexico), Rachel Sussman (Greater New York Region), Mimi Kato (Ohio), Ysabel LeMay (Texas), and Polly Morgan (United Kingdom).