Double Welcome, Most everyone's mad here

May 2 to September 27, 2015
Member's opening: June 12th 5-9pm

Taubman Museum of Art
110 Salem Avenue SE, Roanoke, VA 24011

The Taubman Museum of Art is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Virginia of multi-media artist Jiha Moon (Korean, Born 1973). Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Moon harvests cultural elements native to Korea, Japan, and China uniting 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. Featuring over fifty works, Moon blurs the lines between Western and Eastern identified iconography such as the characters from the online game Angry Birds© and smart phone Emojis which float alongside Asian tigers and Indian Gods, in compositions that appear both familiar and foreign simultaneously.

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, she plays with iconography and symbols that have been classified as “foreign” such as blue and white 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 quirky 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.

Born and raised in Daegu, Korea, Jiha Moon lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa and her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Korea University in Seoul, Korea. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Asia Society, New York City, New York; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia; and the Hunter Museum of Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at notable museums nationwide including at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, North Carolina; the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee; and the Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Greensboro, North Carolina. She has been the recipient of several residencies including Omi International Arts Center, Ghent, New York; the Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California; the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and the MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, New Hampshire. In 2011, Moon was the recipient of a prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation Painter and Sculpture grant. She is represented by Curator’s Office in Washington, D.C., Saltworks Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, and Ryan Lee Gallery in New York, New York.

Learn more: https://vimeo.com/126609811

Jiha Moon: Double Welcome, Most Everyone’s Mad Here is organized by the Taubman Museum of Art in collaboration with the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts in Charleston, South Carolina. The exhibition is curated by Amy G. Moorefield, Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Collections at the Taubman Museum of Art and Mark Sloan, Director and Chief Curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art with special assistance from Andrea Pollan, Curators Office, Washington, D.C.; Saltworks Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia; and Ryan Lee Gallery, New York, New York. This exhibition will be on display at the Taubman Museum of Art in its Contemporary Gallery and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, South Carolina from October 23 – December 5, 2015.

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In Survey of Southern Art, Place Is the Space - Hyperallergic, September 2014

by Rob Colvin, September 5, 2014

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee — Jiha Moon was one of several artists the critic John Yau would like to have seen at the Whitney Biennial this year and didn’t. She was curated, instead, by Nandini Makrandi, at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga. On view now is the third regional invitational the museum has hosted to feature significant works being made in its proximity. The artists are Jan Chanoweth, Alicia Henry, Phillip Andrew Lewis, Jiha Moon, Jeffrey Morton, Greg Pond, Martha Whittington, and Jered Sprecher.

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Hunter Invitational III

Hunter Museum, Chattanooga, TN
June 20 to October 19, 2014

Curated by Nandini Makrandi
Catalog available at the museum

The Hunter Invitational was developed in 2007 as a means to look deeply at some of the most significant artwork being created in our region. The third in the series, this new exhibition will offer an exciting look at recent pieces by artists Jan Chenoweth, Alicia Henry, Philip Andrew Lewis, Jiha Moon, Jeffrey Morton, Greg Pond, Jered Sprecher and Martha Whittington. All of these artists have shown an intense dedication to their work and a passionate engagement with contemporary issues, and each was invited to show his or her latest series at the museum.

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Beauty Reigns

The McNay Museum, San Antonio, TX
June 11 - August 17, 2014

Curated by René Paul Barilleaux
Catalog essay by Lilly Wei (Catalog available through amazon.com)

This exhibition, organized by René Paul Barilleaux, the McNay's Chief Curator/Curator of Art after 1945, assembles the work of thirteen emerging and mid-career abstract painters whose art is characterized in whole or part by high-key color, obsessive layering of surface imagery, use of overall and repeated patterns, stylized motifs, fragments of representation, and a tension between melancholy and the sublime. To date, little focus has been placed on works which celebrate the exoticism, exuberance, and optimism found in the work of the painters assembled in Beauty Reigns.

Beauty Reigns is accompanied by an illustrated book that includes two essays by Lilly Wei and Stephen Westfall contextualizing this approach to abstract painting and tracing its roots in twentieth-century art. Additional biographical and interpretative texts on each of the artists are authored by Barilleaux. The book Beauty Reigns reflects the dynamic nature of the exhibition in its aesthetic, approach, and design; expands the imagery seen in the museum; and offers a larger window into the work of these artists and their particular approaches to painting. Artists included in the exhibition:

Jose Alvarez D.O.P.A
Kamrooz Aram
Ryan McGinness
Charles Burwell
Annette Davidek
Fausto Fernandez
Nancy Lorenz
Beatriz Milhazes
Jiha Moon
Paul Henry Ramirez
Rex Ray
Rosalyn Schwartz
Susan Chrysler White

Exhibition will travel to Akron Museum, Akron, OH

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23 Questions for Painter and Knick-Knack Collector Jiha Moon - Blouin Art Info, Febrary 2014

by Ashton Cooper, February 10, 2014

Name: Jiha Moon
Age: 40
Occupation: Artist
City/Neighborhood: Atlanta, Georgia

The title of your show at Ryan Lee Gallery is “Jiha Moon: Foreign Love Too.” Where did that title come from?

The body of work for my solo show with Ryan Lee Gallery is a continuation of my work from my solo show “Foreign Love,” which is now at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in North Carolina. It originated at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. As a foreigner living in the States myself, I often think about what authenticity really means and I think we often misunderstand it. The title is from this idea of how we often fall in love with what we think of as foreign or exotic to us.

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FOREIGN LOVE TOO – ArtAsiaPacific, Febrary 2014

by Lilly Lampe

Questions of cultural appropriation abound in Jiha Moon’s “Foreign Love Too,” her second solo exhibition at Ryan Lee Gallery (formerly Mary Ryan Gallery) in New York. In paintings, works on paper and ceramics, pop culture, art historical references and icons from the East and West collide, often fusing into hybrid symbols. These visual signifiers become inextricably linked, indicating that when cultures meet, rather than clashing, they meld, raising complicated issues of complicity.

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