Ji Yoon created a folding painting in the hut of The Life Instinct as part of her project 100 Folding Paintings. I love the details she captured in this video, and I love how she activates the space with the tape, plastic, and her body.

This body of work came from the experience of moving herself and her artwork from New York to Seoul. It’s also inspired by the process of moving Jay DeFeo’sThe Rose.

In the summer of 2011, as I was preparing to move back to Seoul from New York, I saw a book about Jay Defoe’s work. I was not very interested in the content of her painting, but I was fascinated by the process of transportation when her work ‘The Rose’ had to be moved from her room, where it took her 8 years make, to a museum. The work measures 11-by-8-foot and weighs one-ton behemoth. About a dozen handlers had hold it at the same time and they had to cut the exterior wall of the house with industrial machines. The absurdity of moving an oversized painting was almost humorous, the canvas, paint, and frame shouldn’t be ruined, so they would rather destroy a part of architecture. The paintings that are square, heavy and large still holds inheritance from the history of European painting. However, I questioned this form of painting, not able to become adaptive to situations, can be valid artistic medium to reflect today’s fast-paced environment where new, fluid, lighter and attractive mediums are created? Paintings can hold more than the formative language such as line, color and composition. I want to make a different kind of paintings that reflect the relationship between myself and the society, a kind of painting that interact and change in flexible form.

‘Folding Paintings’ project is an approach to my practical problem through the process of working with painting.The project is in response to physical and economic constraints I can’t overcome right now.  There are instances of having to move canvas that I can’t carry by myself, to buy large amount of material or to rent a studio with large walls for oversized canvas painting. In Folding Paintings, I took ripped a painting out of canvas, which couldn’t be exhibition and was bound to a storage. Once the painting was free from the stretcher, it became easy to fold and go anywhere. Some of them have travelled internationally: from South Korea to Canada, Norway, Germany and the United States. When my friends volunteered travel the folding, they fold it in their own way and send me the documentation of the process and the final shape. The material form of painting becomes marginal, while the relationship between myself and others keep producing new value.

‘189 Franklin St’ is a new project, growing out of the Folding Painting, I visit other artist’s studio, office, school, and public space and work in that place together for few hours. So the project could be realized with permission from the space owner. The hours of visits is the time of ‘painting in the making’, the time to meet with unfamiliar objects. Whereas traditional studio practice isolates artist in the working process, I want to make work by relating to my immediate community and society at large through painting.

Jiyoon Koo 2012

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