The Gallery Bennett is presenting a memorial exhibition of late Jee-Hoon Choi who left this world in his young age by the fatal automobile accident on March 25, 2011. He was an ardent young artist and a very popular student among his friends and the faculty members at Carnegie Mellon University. For this exhibition, about 30 art works he produced at CMU including paintings, drawings, printmaking and a sculpture will be displayed.
Jee-Hoon was interested in exposing the dark side of today’s technological progress through his work. In his statement, he says, “Progress in speed of production and communication, has been accompanied by the extensive environmental destruction and, some would say, fraying of social fabric (or the decay of substantial social discourse)”. In a painting titled “Folders” (2009), the layers of folders collage the two different stages of a beach scene at dusk, one with water, vegetation and boardwalk, the other with barren desert. The surreal and geometric painting, “Foundation” (2010), reminding us of a painting of Giorgio de Chirico, also meditates on the consequences of industrial and scientific progress. The wind powered generators contrast with the chimneys of the industrial age in distance at the destructed and flooded scene.
In paintings such as “Distraction” (2010) and “Rush Hour” (2008), the accidental scene of automobiles composed with the speeded traces on a highway, the pixelated image of trees or eerie sky. It is a quite unusual coincidence and shocking to find that the images of “Distraction” and other paintings resemble the actual scene of his accident. Jee-Hoon probably predicted the danger unconsciously while he was producing these paintings. He continues in his statement, “ to suggest an unsettling observation that the ordinary is parallel with the contradictory or the uncanny, I create work to engage the everyday from various skewed vantage points, envisioning perplex experiences we subconsciously accept as part of our daily lives.”
The last piece he produced right before the accident is “The other side” (2011), a site-specific installation and a joint project with his classmate, Anya Rosen at the Unsmoke Artspace, Braddock, PA. This installation is a structure constructed with 4 double layered walls, several windows and a door. In its interior, it has a 360 degree panoramic mural painting of outdoor landscape on the surrounding walls and the interior scenes of typical home are visible though the windows of the walls. The photographic documents will be presented at the exhibition since it has been demolished after the show on May, 2011.
Born in Long Island City, NY, Jee-Hoon Choi has lived in Bergen County, NJ since 1995. He graduated from Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, NJ in 2007 and received BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, PA. in 2011. The part of art sales will be contributed for the Jee Hoon Choi Memorial Scholarship Fund for the NVOT students who plan to pursue the artistic career. This exhibition is open to the general public and can be viewed during 9AM – 5PM, Monday through Friday and 10AM -2PM on Saturday. The opening reception will be on March 24, 2012, 6 Pm- 8PM.
For more information: Contact Korean Community Center, 201-541-1200, Ext. 102 or Sung Ho Choi, Curator 201-341-2730