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The Blessed Work of Joo Hee Chun

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Blessing Series O-1 – Acrylic on Aluminium Panel 60cm Diameter

London is always buzzing with creativity, no matter where you are there’s always a new creative discovery to find. I was lucky to see a large exhibition featuring many different artists at Candid Arts venue in North London at the beginning of this year.

My attention was firmly placed on Korean artist Joo Hee Chun who came along specially to talk with me about her work. The artist graduated from Honglik University in Korea in 2005 and did further study at the Winchester School of Art.

Her work is reminiscent of stained glass paintings and has certain delicateness to them. She’s interested in transparency and utilising techniques of layering in her paintings. Interestingly although her work looks like it has been painted on glass, this is not the case. Joo Hee expresses light in her paintings by using different materials to replicate the style of glass.

Orange Dream - Acrylic on canvas 85 x 45 cm

Orange Dream – Acrylic on canvas 85 x 45 cm

Her art plays with the themes of the reveal, disguise and spirituality. She uses transparency to cover up an area of the painting that she doesn’t like but she doesn’t want this to be hidden. This juxtaposition plays together to bring something fresh and new.

Her faith as a Christian also comes into her work but she doesn’t want this to be to explicit “Naturally this comes through my work but I don’t want people to only see me as a Christian artist. I’d like to be known as a contemporary Christian artist.” This is seen by her Blessing series of work.

Each painting features prayers embedded into the work adding to her wish for people to truly experience the work “my aim is to make people stop and look at it and examine it rather than just walking away. I want them to get a blessing through my work” Her work features prayers embedded into the work which you need to look deeply into the work to discover.

Joo Hee found inspiration from visiting India in 2004 after studying looking for a reason to draw and gain some inspiration ”I kept worrying about creating something new all the time so I couldn’t do any new work.” Knowing that the country was mostly Hindu and Muslim she knew it would be difficult to find a church. However she did find a small church was had beautiful stained glass widows which inspired her current work “I am now free to work and paint how I feel and experiment with materials.”

Blessing Series 6 - Acrylic on canvas 68.5 x 43 cm 2010

Blessing Series 6 – Acrylic on canvas 68.5 x 43 cm 2010

As a relatively new mother, this has influenced her work. Prior to motherhood her work was dark whilst in university. But since becoming a mother her work has become more subtle. The Now X Here exhibition at the KCCUK was her first exhibition since giving birth. She started drawing on paper and ended up with approximately 99 individual pieces of work. When she managed to finish everything, she gained confidence.

Viewing this work I gained a sense of peace and calmness coming through the light transmitted by her transparency technique. This light creates different ways of viewing her work and from different angles provides something new to see.

Joo Hee’s work is striking, peaceful and beautiful. I was a great pleasure to meet this wonderful and kind hearted artist to find out about her motivation and themes for this work. For her, art is a long term thing and she wants to keep creating until the end of her life.

To find out more about Joo Hee and see more of her wonderful works check out her website: www.jooheechun.com

Joo Hee is currently being managed by HF Contemporary Art London and their website can be reached here.