I am very excited to be traveling this Friday to Taipei, Taiwan for the inauguration of Bluerider Art Gallery. The celebration will feature the opening of Chicago based artist InJung Oh Zhoushi whose new body of work is a continuation of the Volossom series she began in Chicago. This exhibition promises to be an unforgettable event that will gather top collectors and art aficionados in the heart of Taipei.
Bluerider ART represents artists whose works, by means of individual expression, perseverance, and dynamics are representative of the artistic transition of the 21st century yet set a course for the future.
INJUNG OH’s VOLOSSOM UNIVERSE
“There is no glory in star or blossom till looked upon by a loving eye; There is no fragrance in April breezes till breathed with joy as they wander by.”
William C. Bryant, poet (1794 – 1878)
The human experience, whether in joy or tragedy, can often be interpreted from various points of view based on our cultural, social, or spiritual context. Whether it is an optimist or pessimist point of view, similar life experiences are subject to the tensions we encounter in every day life. It takes a sensitive artist like InJung Oh to create works that co-exist in the duality of life’s mysterious paths. There, in the tensions between the masculine and the feminine, power and surrender, birth and death, Oh experiments with images that reclaim the glory and the emotional power of life’s seemingly contradictory experiences.
InJung Oh is a Chicago-based Korean-American artist. She received her MFA degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009 and is a resident artist at the Zhou B Art Center. Her works show internationally and are included in numerous private collections. Oh’s emerging artistic career continues to flourish consistently throughout the years. Her new body of work is as close to her personal life as it has never been before. Emerging from a labyrinth of roles, ideas and emotions, Oh continues to embark herself deep into the mysteries of human joy and struggle. Although derived from her own life and bi-cultural nature, such vivid exploration relates to our universal and collective experiences.
Oh explores power, relationships and tensions between genders as expressed through dynamic symbolism. Such tensions manifest as corsets, skirts, water, mountains, sky, sex, and sexuality. They exist as repetitive elements dominating the picture plane of each painting and subtly transforming its form from painting to painting. One consistent element in Oh’s work is what the artist refers to as the volcanic energy and the subtle fragility of “Volossom”. A symbol that resembles a modern Venus while conveying masculinity; a flower in bloom, although often seen as feminine, has both female and male reproductive components.
In her newest works, “Volossom” rains down on a vast seascape or on a field of vivid color that resembles the microcosmos or the depth of the universe. As a gentle breeze passes through, the flower symbol gently comes down as if slowly pulled by the gravitational force of the earth. Although a repetitive form, each time one experiences “Volossom”, it comes in a new way. Sometimes it incorporates the appearance of a fragile white porcelain, a translucent glass object, or a solid mass. With intentionality, directness and sometimes doubt, Oh starts and reworks each painting with love, passion and determination. She struggles in the process of creation just as the works embody the tensions they represent. But doubt, just as any other life experience, seen with an optimist eye, serves to empower the artist and to inform her process. There is, therefore, a thread of continuity that persists in all her work. It is a personal preoccupation to establish an ongoing and, at times, difficult dialog with her work. A dialog that provides transcendence and understanding.
The end result of her spontaneous, yet meticulously structured work process is an embodiment of the diverse forces that eventually collide in our path. The tensions of a male dominated society versus femininity collide in Oh’s work. With the hands of a gifted and optimist artist, one witnesses “Volossom” in its ultimate form.
Director of Exhibitions
Zhou B Art Center