2011 Joan Mitchell Foundation Award

Jiha is a recipient of 2011 Joan Mitchell Foundation award.

The Joan Mitchell Foundation celebrates the legacy of Joan Mitchell and expands her vision to support the aspirations and development of diverse contemporary visual artists. They work to broaden the recognition of artists and their essential contributions to communities and society.


Our Yasu

installation & collaborative works by Rachel Hayes & Jiha Moon

ADA Gallery, Richmond, Virginia
September 17 - October 29, 2011

Opening Saturday
September 17th, 7-9pm imgage ADA gallery is pleased to announce new collaborative works by installation artist Rachel Hayes and painter Jiha Moon. Jiha's gestural marks and seductive imagery are painted on, and embedded in, Rachel's sculptural panels that are sewn from fabric and Korean mulberry paper. Rachel's use of shiny swatches of colorful fabric contrast nicely with Jiha's soft fuzzy brush strokes as they attempt to tame the wild beast they envision their collaboration to be. Yasu means "Beast" in Korean, therefore "Our Yasu" is a tribute to their team effort.

With separate studios in Kansas City, Brooklyn, and Atlanta, there is a great deal of negotiation and compromise necessary as they construct and deconstruct work before meeting face to face onsite to create their installations. Hayes and Moon have been working together since meeting in 2007 at the Art Omi residency in New York. Their first collaborative effort, "Outflow" was featured in the group exhibition "More Mergers & Acquisitions" curated by Stuart Horodner at The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, 2009. They followed this with a large work entitled "Chutes and Tears" at The Lab Gallery in New York last April, a grand landscape of fabric and paint which unfolded and revealed itself as one walked past the corner window gallery. This work featured the use of recycled blue jeans, which were collected, shredded, often bleached, and reassembled into curtain-like forms creating cascades and shelters. For their exhibition at ADA gallery, the team will site specifically re-install "Chutes and Tears".

Jiha has finished her recent project with The Fabric workshop and Museum and was in four person show at The Fabric workshop and museum in Philladelphia this past spring 2011. Rachel had her fellowship exhibition at Saint-Gaudens national historic site in Cornish, NH in 201o and is getting ready for her one year residency at Mary Walsh Sharpe foundtion in Brooklyn this September, 2011.

This is Jiha and Rachel's third collaborative exhibition and debut exhibition at ADA gallery as a team.

Chutes & Tears at the LAB gallery NYC, 2011

Our Yasu will feature a new installation as well as many new wall pieces.

This exhibition will run from September 17 - October 29, 2011

gallery hours: Wednesday - Saturday noon - 5pm.

for more information and images contact john pollard at info@adagallery.com


ADA gallery, 228 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220 © COPYRIGHT ADA GALLERY 2011

The Letter Shin

Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, Virginia
September 16 - October 29, 2011

Opening Reception
Friday, September 16, 7 - 9 pm

Artist's Talk
Saturday, September 17, 1 pm

Jiha Moon, The Letter Shin, 2011, ink, acrylic, embroidery, fabric on Hanji paper, 59 x 59 inches

Jiha Moon, Swoosh, 2011, ink, acrylic, glitter on Hanji paper, 28 x 39 1/2 inches

Day For Night

Clough-Hanson Gallery, Rhodes College, Memphis
September 9- October 14, 2011

Download a PDF of the show brochure

Day for Night includes thirteen recent paintings by Korean-Americanartist Jiha Moon. These bold paintings present dreamy landscapes that are super-saturated with a breathtaking array of visual information. The densely composed pictures whirl and tumble like turbulent seas filled with parts culled from myriad sources and influences. The paintings create a liminal space that blurs the lines between East and West, seduction and repulsion, old and new, abstraction and representation, and spontaneity and intentionality. The dynamic paintings are at times laugh- out-loud funny or disquieting in their jarring peculiarity. The artist provides a lens through which to view a magical world where she combines disparate elements, constructing a representation of the frenetic, information-rich world in which we live.

Upon first glance Moon’s paintings can seem unruly in their over-the-top exuberance, but as the viewer’s eyes adjust, one begins to see the sweet harmony at work within the spectacular chaos. It is as if Moon is trying to make a painting using every technique imaginable. Each painting presents its own particular juxtaposition of parts. Bold, gestural brushstrokes and delicately rendered passages mix to form a no-holds-barred visual feast for the viewer. The artist engages us with her elegant balancing act as we dissect the formal layers of her paintings. In Day for Night I we find delicately rendered passages of intensely colored forms bobbing in a fog of watery underpainting. The carefully modulated, flat shapes are contrasted with mushy, gestural swaths of variegated wet-into-wet paint. Watery paint runs and drips into abraded areas, sanded down to reveal the grain of the painting surface. Subtly nuanced Hanji (handmade Korean mulberry paper) is collaged atop richly textured tapestry. While many contemporary painters filter and distill their many influences into a hybridized style, Moon maintains the specific particularities of her multivalent approach. In doing so she reveals the multivalent nature of her practice.

Further inspection proves the paintings are just as layered conceptually as they are in technique. Moon cross-pollinates and assimilates bits and pieces from a wide variety of cultures in an effort to speak to the pluralistic nature of the modern experience. Using a delightful mish-mash of sources that are at times dizzying and elegant she carefully orchestrates varying levels of visual turmoil. Brightly colored pop-images are layered with elements of traditional Asian landscape painting. Wavy tendrils rendered in a trademark Roy Lichtenstein style overlap with decorative elements borrowed from Pennsylvania Dutch Fraktur paintings. Microsoft’s Technicolor butterfly and the Twitter bluebird soar while the Grateful Dead’s tie-dyed smiley face and the head of the Botan Rice Candy dog look on from a distance. German calligraphic letters and classical Korean writing share the space with collaged paisley bandanas while reflective stickers, rubber stamps, and glitter glue pepper the compositions. All of which is held in place by some of the most exquisite, delicate brushwork found in painting today. Dozens of other familiar shapes are inches from the point of recognition. The unpredictable combination of images assures that no two viewers will experience or interpret the work the same way. By establishing a place where these disparate elements can co-exist on the same picture plane, these assemblages highlight points of cultural commonality while savoring the delicious tension created by the dramatic differences.

As I work my way through the twists and turns of Jiha Moon’s wonderful paintings I find myself stupefied and breathless. At some point early in the prolonged viewing experience I find myself doubting her ability to execute everything in one painting, a combination of skepticism and nervous anticipation―but each time I am led to the marvelous moment of synthesis. It is the very same feeling I get watching the neighborhood kids work their magic on their skateboards, flipping, twisting, teetering, and finally executing a brilliant move. Moon’s eloquent painting practice speaks to our own important task as members of modern society: to deftly maneuver the constant bombardment of visual information―from the pop-ups on the computer screens to our logo-filled public sphere. The underlying harmony within Moon’s carefully constructed chaos reflects the opposing dynamic and delicate order found in the complex human world.

Hamlett Dobbins Director
Clough-Hanson Gallery

American Appendage

Mary Ryan Gallery, New York
November 11 - December 22, 2010

Opening Reception
Thursday, November 11, 6pm-8pm
American Appendate
Mary Ryan Gallery is pleased to announce Jiha Moon: American Appendage, an exhibition of new paintings by the Korean-born, Atlanta-based artist. This is her first solo show at Mary Ryan Gallery. American Appendage will feature a selection of paintings that combine ink, acrylic, fabric and collage on Hanji paper (Korean mulberry paper) mounted on canvas or silk. Moon blends Eastern and Western imagery and traditional Korean modes of presentation--the use of Hanji paper, her choice of frames, and the reference to Asian fan painting--along with visual icons from her past and present surroundings to explore ideas of cultural identity. The title of this exhibition, American Appendage, draws from the concept that the notion of “Americaness” is constantly evolving. According to Moon, in Korea the majority of people are 100% Korean, both racially and culturally, while in America, everyone is a cultural hybrid of some kind. The addition of the prefix “Korean” to Korean Americans (and similar “hyphenation” of other ethnic groups) downplays the integral role they play in weaving the vibrant tapestry of American culture. Moon seeks meaningful answers to questions like “where are you from?” and “what are you?” 

Moon’s paintings are bold, vivid and energetic. Pulling from Korean, English, and Chinese, as well as visual languages (computer symbols, emoticons, folk and pop imagery), she synthesizes these elements into a visual code, using wit and humor to emphasize commonalities in things seemingly disparate. Fittingly, Moon’s works integrate wildly diverse painting styles as well. She combines expressionist and calligraphic brushstrokes, diaphanous color washes and delicately inked lines, to convey the myriad stylistic influences on her work. Moon often camouflages her techniques, making painting look like drawing and incorporating sculptural elements that evoke the physicality of impasto paint. In her work, the line between what one sees, and what one thinks they are seeing is often blurred. She intentionally plays with the “identity” of painting, mirroring the philosophical aspects of her work. As a result of her year-long collaboration with the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, Moon’s latest work reflects an increased interest in surface texture, incorporating embroidery, collaged fabric elements and “appendages.” The internet and digital communication also figure significantly in this work, as technology has become an extremely important tool for facilitating cross-cultural dialogue. 

Yellno, 2010 Ink and acrylic on Hanji paper mounted on canvas 24 x 26 inches 

Yellno (2010) reflects Moon’s emotional response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The sense of urgency and uncertainty so prevalent during those months reminded Moon of Roy Lichtenstein’s 1963 painting Drowning Girl. In Yellno, the blue hair from Lichtenstein’s girl sweeps across the foreground of the canvas like a wave, obscured by tumultuous brushwork. A menacing black plume billows upward, and various Korean, Chinese, and fictitious characters drift in the chaos. Moon deliberately chooses to include words and characters that have meanings in multiple languages; in this work, the Chinese character “No-rang,” meaning “angry/wild wave” translates to “yellow” in Korean. The title combines both “yellow” and the Korean word, “no,” which means both “yellow” and “great anger.” Word play is yet another tool that Moon employs to guide viewers through her fantastical painted worlds.

Blue Peony and Impure Thoughts

Saltworks Gallery, Atlanta
January 23 - March 6, 2010

Opening Reception
Saturday, January 23, 6pm-9pm

SALTWORKS is pleased to present Blue Peony and Impure Thoughts, featuring new works on paper and an installation by Atlanta-based artist Jiha Moon. The exhibition will be on view from January 23, 2010 through March 6, 2010. This is the second solo exhibition of Ms. Moon's work at the gallery.

Botan Dog
Botan Dog, 2009, ink, acrylic and embroidery on hanji paper mounted on canvas, 10" diameter

 Throughout her artistic career, the multivalent paintings of Korea-born and Atlanta-based artist Jiha Moon have operated in several distinctive yet visually cohesive realms. As the title of her current Saltworks Gallery exhibition―“Blue Peony and Impure Thoughts”―suggests, this handsome body of work simultaneously conflates cultural references and confounds expectations, all while accommodating multiple audience interpretations. 

 The unnatural abounds in everyday life and in Moon’s compositions, like the blue peony, found in Cheoyong and others. Traditional pink or white peonies represent luxury and wealth―the opposite of lotuses, which signify spirituality―but blue peonies don’t exist in nature, twisting the expectation of these signature shapes. In this spirit, another shifting character in her work is an inu-hariko, another symbol for good fortune, which looks like a cat, but is actually a dog found on traditional Japanese toys and sweets like Botan Rice Candy (botan means peony in Japanese). Therefore, these lush surfaces have deeper, changeable underpinnings, as the “true” identities of each figure fades in and out of focus. - Excerpt from exhibition essay by Atlanta-based curator Stephanie Greene. 

 Jiha Moon lives and works in Atlanta, GA. Recent solo exhibitions include Turbulence Utopia, Mint Museum, Charolette, NC and Pleasant Purgatory, Brain Factory, Seoul, Korea. Selected group exhibitions include the One Way or Another, Asia Society and Museum, NY (traveling); Currents, Recent Acquisitions, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Movement, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA; Art on Paper Biennial, Weatherspoon Museum, NC. Selected artist residencies include Headlands Center for the Arts, Golden Foundation fellowship, Sausalito, CA; Art Omi International Artists Residency, Ghent, NY; and the Singapore Tyler Print Institute, artist residency awarded by Asia Society and Museum, New York, NY. Moon is currently an artist-in-residence at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadephia, PA