Jukhee Kwon: Liberated
16 March – 22 April, 2023
For Kwon, deconstructing these books becomes a process of creative discovery, exploring, identifying and ultimately exposing some inner core of meaning that once revealed can more fully express itself. The artist plays constantly with ideas of complementarity: destruction & re-creation, birth & death and other natural cycles. Thus, large-scale columns of paper may stand metaphorically for the paper masquerading as trees, suggesting the material cycle of tree – book – tree that foregrounds the very medium of which the artwork is composed. Dancing Book plays with the notion of a branch with delicate paper tendrils swaying softly in the breeze, while Red Circle Book, explores the organic shapes of a flower opening to embrace life. Most significantly, the paper chains of words stay connected to the central spine, and are cut between the lines, with disciplined concentration, so as to remain legible. Furthermore, nothing is lost or wasted as newly sculpted forms are discovered, and these transformational phase changes liberate bursts of pure radiant energy.
Kwon’s more recent innovations combine book sculptures with rolls and loops of paper repeatedly placed side by side, to form subtle yet arresting wall sculptures that embody silence and stillness even as they appear to ripple and flow. Other explorations include the addition of origami figures of folded paper, which can sit bound in tightly serried rows, as in Paradise, or figuratively leap off the walls like birds soaring into space, as in the darker, brooding piece entitled Meditation.
Describing the abundant variety in her sculptures, Jukhee Kwon remarks that inspiration comes from the found books themselves:
‘Discovering an abandoned book is just the first part of the process. After that, I often imagine its time spent in the hands of previous owners. As I cut into the pages, I’m interested in connecting that past to the present moment – patiently awaiting whatever emerges.’