Extraordinary + Ordinary
Mixed Greens is thrilled to present an ambitious, site-specific window installation by Virginia-based artist WonJung Choi. In this colorful piece, a sea of transparent faces hanging from invisible string will morph and transform as light passes through, shadows overlap, and two dimensions combine to form three-dimensional beings.
Since moving to the United States, Choi makes work contemplating her own adaptation to Western Culture in light of America’s incredible diversity of race, culture, and experience. The hundreds of portraits that combine to form Extraordinary + Ordinary are each drawn separately with hot glue on colored Plexiglas. When installed with spotlights, the flat, transparent faces appear to acquire more solid structure. Choi is not only thinking about physical characteristics, but also the nationality, cultural background, dreams, fears, and values of each person depicted; She thinks about the extraordinary experiences in each person’s life and the ordinary experiences of every day. In her words, she is depicting “extraordinarily ordinary and ordinarily extraordinary people living another day.”
As Choi’s Eastern heritage is mutated and evolved by her Western surroundings, she exists in a constant state of flux. With every body of work, Choi is searching for certainty and stability. She often transposes herself into images of butterflies, dinosaurs, fish, feathers, and hybrid animals to represent this constant movement and transition. It is through these images that she has found comfort in the idea of transformation. Extraordinary + Ordinary is one such installation where transparent plastic transforms into a crowd of familiar faces.
WonJung Choi was born in Seoul, Korea where she received her BFA and MFA from Hong-ik University. In 2004, she received an additional MFA from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. In the last decade, she has shown her work at venues all over the United States and Korea including the Korean Consulate General in NYC; the Islip Art Museum, NY; PS122 Gallery, NYC; the Watermill Center, Watermill, NY; the CUE Art Foundation, NYC; Cuchifritos, NYC; Bloomberg, NYC; Arario, Seoul, Korea; and the Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, Korea. Solo shows have occurred at PH Gallery in NYC; Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT; Gwangju Arts Foundation, Gwangju, Korea; and HP France Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. She received a 2008-2009 residency with the Artist Alliance Inc. in NYC. Currently Choi lives and works in Richmond, VA.
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