April 20 – May 25, 2019
Super Future Kid, Jennifer Lefort, Jiha Moon, Kiyoshi Kaneshiro
There is something really great about bright color. It reminds me of candy. Delicious sugary tart confections; the kind with no expiration date, each chew something decadent. Deeply ground into your molars. You just know it’s wreaking havoc in so many different ways but nothing is as satisfying as that moment. The repercussions don’t exist. After the bag is empty, the box unshakeable…then it counts. That big undeniably gargantuan ah oh. I took the first bite and the last bite, and everything in between. I get it now. It’s going to hurt. Call it my chunk of the rock. The American dream presented in high fructose corn syrup. The one I can afford. After all, it only counts if you take a big piece.
Super Future Kid likes candy a lot. She also enjoys play. “Mysteries of youth, spirituality and the occult are all themes in Super Future Kids symbology, and her comfortable spelunking of hypernatural realms is vivifying. The following transmission proves she is a friendly visitor from another dimension, hence the name. Electric pink sugar runs through her veins, and she’s often trailed by a glittery mist. During a recent touchdown in Tokyo, she spared a few milliseconds to share the secrets of her space craft. We spoke via hologram and the artist appeared as what can only be described as a sparkling beam of luminescent jellyfish light.” (Kristin Farr, Juxtapoz) Her work is infused with sweetness and light that exists in contrast to a childhood devoid of fun, growing up in East Berlin before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Artist Jiha Moon also derives a sense of frivolity and humor in her work as she redefines her Korean identity through a Southern American lens. Moon states: For this new body of work I have been focusing on a color theme around yellow. Color has always played an important role in my work symbolically, referencing racial misunderstandings, traditions and cultures. I have been obsessed about using the color “Yellow”, which can ironically be interpreted as both a racial slur and honoring beauty in different cultures. It can reference Asian people, the color of certain flowers, (chrysanthemum or marigold), gold or blonde.
Big yellow brush strokes can remind people of “blonde beauty” from a Western perspective in women because of American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. In my new painting “Yellowave” I try to create a big wave of emotion, evoking people of my kind and yellow as powerful color.
For ceramic sculptures this idea continues: I use the color yellow for underglaze and glaze. I am referencing the banana as new iconography (it is sometimes used as a racial slur- referring to second generation Asian immigrants). I construct and deconstruct vessels that I combined with fortune cookie shapes and decorate with drawing as a storytelling element on my surfaces. I am continuously jumping back and forth between traditional and popular cultures in my explorations with ceramic sculpture.” Moon’s works are both joyous and ironic.
Jennifer Lefort states: “When I work, I often find myself looking for the coexistence and co-dependence between things: colour and pattern, structure and disorder, accidents and intuition. To me, these are all layers that can exists in a single artwork. As a group, my work in this exhibition is also a collection of these types of layers. Methods and shapes overlap in each piece, with varying significance and readings. What creates depth in a painting can be what activates the surface of the sculpture (ex. Spray paint can convey depth of space, or, bring attention to the surface of materials). Colour is a strong leader in my studio and by working in both sculpture and painting, I have become interested in how colour can delimit, yet also remove boundaries from objects and shapes – it has the ability to be a boundary bender which is, conceptually speaking, full of unbounded potential worth exploring.” Her candy-colored palettes evoke urban art meets computer technology married to cotton candy and licorice. There is a spontaneous playfulness that belies a deeper more menacing conversation- the juggling act between motherhood, being an artist and running a household.
Kiyoshi Kaneshiro’s works look like meringue cookies on acid laced with steroids. Bright pinks, bubbly reds and exploding yellows foam and drip from barely contained vessel walls. Each form has a bubblegum quality- chewy, partially inflated and gummy. The hard surface contradicts forms that appear spongy and flexible. Kaneshiro writes of his practice: I’ve been thinking a lot about latticework and similar structures in architecture. I’m always super focused in the studio I know these materials I use really closely. Despite how the work may look I’m very disciplined in process to achieve the aesthetic that the work results in.
I am always interested in structure and how the structure of an object changes can result in different opportunities for “ornament”. I think a lot about gravity as well. I always think about scale, form, and layering. Creating depth through the process of multiple layers. The work is typically dichromatic, but the colors are very vibrant. I’d like to think that the simplicity in color allows for more observations to be made in surface/texture/form. I like to deal with the material for what it is, use it in ways that make sense. I don’t like to fight the medium i try to make observations on its behavior and make decisions based on that. I try my best not to be obvious and do the stranger things that will result in something different. I have a strong craft background and I try my best not to let the rules of craft cloud how the work is made, however I think the work is a result of a balance between those rules and the ones I decide to ignore.
Each artist in this exhibition has very specific intentions with their work and the deliberateness in which they create. We look forward to sharing the experience with you.
By Felicia Feaster Atlanta-based, South Korean-born artist Jiha Moon’s paintings look like contained explosions, the world blown to smithereens. There’s the suggestive tang of gunpowder in the air and billowing smoke seems to dissipate as we…
June 26–July 29 | Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 26, 3–5 p.m. First Floor Galleries and the Angela Fowler Memorial Gallery, Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua , NY Curated by Erika Diamond, assistant director of VACI Galleries, this exhibition…