Internationally-celebrated Atlanta-based artist Jiha Moon embraces the idea that identity can be mutable. One is not necessarily born with a consistent sense of identity. Her work encourages dialogue and multiple meanings. Intentionally playful, it moves with ease between new and ancient, political and cultural.
Moon’s paintings shimmer with luminous, acrylic brushwork on brown, Korean Hanji paper mounted on canvas or panel. This generates associations with the patina of antique books and the cultural tradition of works on paper. The meeting point between old and new is an essential part of Moon’s practice.
Her signature evil eyes, milagros, iconic emojis, and corporate logos, like the Twitter bird, intermingle within each composition.
“Lucid Yellow,” a color name conceived by Moon, is bold, full of saturation and infused with cultural symbolism. Art historical references range from the wavy-haired blonde, Pop Art brushstrokes of Roy Lichtenstein to the golden coif of Warhol’s Marilyn to the exoticized, glowing locks of Renaissance goddesses. Colors have shifting references. Bold intensities of color, with a focus on yellow, wind and wander throughout Moon’s work. Yellow is at once the punk, rainbow hair dye of a teenager and also the historically-loaded notion of racial stereotyping within the U.S. of Asian identity.
“Lucid Yellow” also features an installation of Moon’s wall-mounted masks and a large selection of her ceramic sculptures, earthenware and porcelain, often incorporating found objects. Blending high and low, energetic graphics and calligraphic linework form dynamic tensions between shape and surface. The cherry-red lips of a smiling mouth, not unlike the mouth at the center of a de Kooning Woman, are prominent in the recent ceramic compositions, adding to the brilliance of her shape-shifting and mischievous variations.
About Jiha Moon
Jiha Moon (born 1973, South Korea) lives and works in Atlanta, GA. Moon is one of sixty artists included in “State of the Art 2020,” a survey of contemporary art at The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. She has had solo exhibitions at MOCA Georgia, Atlanta; The Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, TN; James Gallery of CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY; and The Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC, among others. She has been included in group shows at The Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO; The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Asia Society, New York, NY; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; and The Drawing Center, New York, NY. Moon’s mid-career survey,
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