October Gallery presents an exhibition of new works by Jukhee Kwon, her first solo show at the gallery, 5 December 2013 – 1 February 2014.
Born in South Korea, Kwon studied Fine Art at Chung-Ang University, Seoul, before continuing to achieve an MA from Camberwell College of Arts, London. She has exhibited across Europe, first showing with October Gallery last spring. She now lives and works in Italy.
Kwon creates captivating works, quite literally, from the printed page; using abandoned and disused books she shreds the pages by hand to create magnificent ‘book sculptures’. These effervescent sculptures, brimming with energy, flow from their spines in the form of cascading waterfalls. Each book, thus deconstructed, attains to a new existence through this transformational creative process. Her series /fromthebooktothespace/ aims to return the object to its original form – from tree to book, from book to tree; teasing with ideas of destruction and re-creation.
Kwon’s cutting and slicing techniques become a performance with each fragile page demanding attention. Although unseen by the viewer, her intricate actions during this process are projected through the complexity of the finished piece. Kwon’s imagination is realised through the adaptable structure of the book which transcends its original purpose. The act of the book’s expansion alludes to a feeling of freedom and movement, mimicking in a sense, Kwon’s migratory experience.
In her work Red Presence, Kwon references her own fragmented memories, including her first vivid memory – the colour red. Cutting each strand becomes a means to travel the tracks of half-held memories and to retrace those first conscious steps towards the creation of a new life. Bold blocks of colour ignite the pages of her work, and her choice of colour, is informed by these memories or by the book’s own imagined memory.
This exhibition focuses primarily on Kwon’s latest creations. Not only is the book an object brought back to life, Kwon transforms it with colour to become a life derivative of its past and its narrative – The idea of books retaining an essence of their previous owners, each emanating an individual past. Utilising this resonance, Kwon’s intricate works flow from a theatre of characters that evoke their new life forms. As Kwon notes, “For me, each book has individual personality and it has narrative and history like a human being.”