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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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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Foreign Love Too

Ryan Lee Gallery, New York, NY
February 1 - March 8, 2014

Opening Reception:
Saturday, February 1, 4:00-6:00pm
Ryan Lee Gallery

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RYAN LEE is pleased to present Jiha Moon: Foreign Love Too, a solo exhibition of new work by the Korean-born, Atlanta-based artist. On view is a selection of paintings, works on paper, and ceramic sculptures, both free standing and wall-mounted. Employing a range of traditional and non-traditional materials ­ from acrylic paint and ink to embroidery and synthetic hair ­ Moon carefully orchestrates hyper-dense compositions that not only reference diverse art historical styles, but also reference the commonality and disparity of multiple cultures. The title of the exhibition refers to the societal obsession with foreignness and the never-ending quest for “the new” that simultaneously expands and restricts our understanding of otherness. The show will run concurrently with Jiha Moon: Falk Visiting Artist; Foreign Love at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC, which is on view from January 18 to April 13, 2014.

Culling elements from American, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and other Eastern and Western cultures, Moon’s work explores the multiplicity of 21st-century cultural identities influenced by popular culture, technology, racial perceptions, and folklore. She juxtaposes classical Asian motifs with contemporary and digital iconography such as the Angry Bird and Hello Kitty logos in contrast to the Korean folk mask, Tal. These co-existing yet disparate elements reflect the bombardment of visual information typical in daily life. Moon’s references to multiple artistic movements― from ancient calligraphy to abstract expressionism to pop art― are emblematic of the plurality and highly referential nature of contemporary art.

At first glance, the work conjures kitschy Asian references, but upon closer examination, it directly questions the role and necessity of cultural assimilation in an increasingly globalized world. A Georgia resident for more than a decade, Moon uses recurring imagery of the peach, for example, to explore the complexities of a famous regional icon by highlighting its use as a potent symbol of ancient Korean mythology. In the “Peach Mask” series, executed on Hanji, a traditional Korean mulberry paper, the peach not only gives shape to the overall work, but also suggests a more lascivious and humorous interpretation of the colloquialism, “georgia peach.” Here, the peach takes on qualities of many culture- specific masks, such as Hopi Kachina, Mexican, African, and digital (emoticons) masks, to examine the dual nature of identity and anonymity. Many of the mask works include numerous eyes rendered with a single or double lid or in various colors, in response to the increasing attention on K-Pop, Pan-Asian culture, anime, and plastic surgery.

The ceramics on display comprise the artist’s first foray into the medium of clay. Ancient techniques such as slip caste and crackle glaze are used in tandem with Moon’s characteristic iconography. The wall-mounted works, called Norigae, reference the intricacy and time-consuming nature of certain ethnic beauty practices, including Asian, Indian, Caribbean, African, and Celtic traditions. Additionally, familiar archetypes commonly found in commercial product logos, like the tigers of Tiger Balm or dragons and bamboo on chopstick wrappers, evoke stereotypical Western modes of commodification. Moon is acutely aware of how Western perceptions of Asian-ness impact and reflect the current reality of both cultures. Through these reconfigurations, Moon explores her cultural heritage, the assumptions made about it, and its significance or lack thereof in contemporary life. Moon’s work confronts the breakdown of cultural barriers by challenging common notions of East and West, ancient and modern, high and low to develop a rich visual vocabulary all her own.

Jiha Moon (b. 1973) is from DaeGu, Korea and lives and works in Atlanta, GA. Moon’s solo exhibition Foreign Love was on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Fall 2013, later traveling to the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Spring 2014. Moon received her MFA from the University of Iowa. Upcoming group exhibitions include Beauty Reigns: A Baroque Sensibility in Recent Painting curated by Rene Paul Barilleaux at McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX, and Made in America at National Academy Museum of Art, New York. She has exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta; Savannah College of Art and Design, GA; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA; and the Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Greensboro, NC. Her work is included in permanent collections, among them the Asia Society and Museum, New York; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; The Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC; Smithsonian Institute, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; and The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. She was included in the important exhibition One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now curated by Melissa Chiu at the Asia Society and Museum, New York in 2006, which later traveled to the University of Houston and Berkeley Art Museum, and Levity curated by Katherine Carl at The Drawing Center, New York in 2008. In 2010, she completed residencies at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA. Moon is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Painting & Sculpture Grant (2011).

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Foreign Love : Falk Visiting Artist

Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro, NC
Jan 18, 2014 - Apr 13, 2014

As the Spring 2014 Falk Visiting Artist at the Weatherspoon and the Art Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Moon will present a lecture and gallery talk on her work and participate in MFA graduate student critiques.

This exhibition was originally organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia as part of the 2012/13 Working Artist Projects award program. Xandra Eden, Curator of Exhibitions organized the exhibition at the Weatherspoon. Special thanks to the 2013/14 Falk Visiting Artist Committee.

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Foreign Love

The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA)
2012/2013 Working Artist Project (WAP) September 7 - November 2, 2013

Opening Reception:
Friday, September 6th, 6:30-8:30pm

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ABOUT Foreign Love
Jiha Moon has been working in three areas for this exhibition: works on paper, ceramic sculptures, and Norigae (traditional Korean clothing accessories, example shown at right) as art objects. She notes that “throughout the entire exhibition, my subject deals with my interests of mixing multiple cultural references (eastern, western and beyond) and playing with the idea of shifting identities. For example, I often switch the colors of familiar objects to something you would not normally see, and I adopt many different styles of paint/line application.”

“There is clearly great depth and diversity in Atlanta’s artistic pool. My selections include three dynamic female artists, all of whom explore the complex merging of abstraction and representation within painting, each in their own singular voice. I look forward to seeing how their exhibitions play a role in the ongoing vitality and plurality of painting today.”
- Julie Rodrigues Widholm

ABOUT the Juror
This year, Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Pamela Alper Associate Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA), came to Atlanta to serve as juror for this round of artists’ submissions. Rodrigues Widholm recently curated Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks and is currently organizing Colombian artist Doris Salcedo’s first survey exhibition for Fall 2014 at the MCA and is also co-organizing Amalia Pica’s first American solo museum exhibition with MIT List Visual Art Center, Boston. Since joining the MCA in 1999, she has curated group exhibitions such as Escultura Social: A New Generation of Art from Mexico City, which was accompanied by a bi-lingual catalogue, as well as in-depth presentations of the MCA Collection in Constellations: Paintings from the MCA Collection and MCA Exposed: Defining Moments in Photography, 1967-2007. In addition, she has organized solo exhibitions of dozens of Chicago-based artists including most recently Scott Reeder, Laura Letinsky, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and Cauleen Smith. Rodrigues Widholm holds an M.A. in Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism from The School of the Art Institute in Chicago and a B.A. in Art History and Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

ABOUT WAP
WAP is an awards program to support established visual artists of merit who reside in the metropolitan Atlanta area. This initiative provides an unparalleled level of support for individual artists, expands the Museum’s mission, and promotes Atlanta as a city where artists can live, work, and thrive. As with past years, a guest juror will select three visual artists to receive the Award. Representing our city’s best and brightest; these artists will be supported with an exhibition, promotion, a studio assistant, and a major stipend to create work over the course of the year. This program is supported in large by a grant from The Charles Loridans Foundation with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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