A Visit with Jee Hwang
I was struck by a conversation I had a few weeks ago with a friend, a visual artist, who said that the worst part of the “gallery scene” for him really is the moment someone says “So, tell me about your work.” He is left floundering for the words to describe something that if he had the linguistic vocabulary for it he would be a writer! In many ways, this is the essential struggle of artists of all kinds (writers excluded, I suppose), which is that if language captured what they were trying to convey, they would have no reason to take a brush to a canvas, or a camera to the woods, or a scene to the stage.
Our film, in part, explores the inability of language to encapsulate the un-capturable, so when Caitlin and I took a trip last weekend to visit Jee Hwang, we were afforded an opportunity to see what a young woman with a deeply rich visual vocabulary is capable of doing. Jee is from Korea, went to art school at Pratt and has sparked the interest of many galleries and collectors (myself included, although I am currently a ‘collector’ of only her work) with the breadth and depth of the themes she explores. She is unafraid to really push subjects that interest her, relentless in their pursuit, meticulous in their study, and then when she feels she has reached a point with them, she moves onto the next. See below for some of her “studies” here, then visit her website to see how she leverages such a freedom of exploration to yield remarkably powerful work.
Her paintings and drawings are to be featured as an integral part of our film but more importantly, her example is one we would like to follow. Finding the vocabulary (not the words) because she is constantly seeking, asking questions of herself and listening to the honest answers she gets.