Jihae Kwon ~Hawaii

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Jihae Kwon: " My inspirations come from unexpected places—seemingly unimportant conversations with friends, something glanced at for a moment, a forgotten memory. A bit of shared history, a phrase or an image may trigger a chain of thoughts that lead me to the subject of my work. Through travel, I experience new cultures and gain different artistic perspective which are used as themes or visual language in my work."

Homeless Chickens
By Jihae Kwon Laie, Hawai'i: Jihae Kwon, 2017. Edition of 10.

8.5 x 9.125"; 15 pages. Double-sided accordion extending from front pastedown. Lithograph images. Digitally printed text. Cut-out patterns on the front cover and back side of the accordion text. Signed and numbered by the artist.

A book about free-spirited feral chickens in Hawai'I where the artist now lives and teaches in the Visual Arts program at the BYU campus.

Jihae Kwon, colophon: "The first time I saw feral hens and roosters on the side of Kamehameha Highway, I thought they were cage-free chickens raised by someone who trusted them enough to let them roam around during daytime. Then I saw more of them on the beach. Then in the grocery store parking lot, on the school campus, in my neighbor's yard, and on the hood of my car. These homeless chickens were everywhere. I realized then they didn't belong to anyone.

"They eat anything and they live everywhere. Locals don't eat them. Kids in the neighborhood use them for chicken fights. Sometimes chickens and chicks get hit by cars like other wild animals. They cluck at all hours of day and night. they are wild and free-spirited. When I see them around, I chuckle a little."

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By Jihae Kwon
Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington D.C.: Jihae Kwon, 2014. Edition of 10.

5 x 6" closed; 12 pages. Accordion fold extending from front pastedown. Lithograph printing on one side. Screen printing on reverse side. RiverPoint papers. Signed and numbered by the artist. Bound in paper over boards with cloth spine.

Jihae Kwon: "Inspired by a trip to Ladakh, India, Bending is about how Ladakh is modernizing while holding on to their beautiful traditions."

While politically part of India, Ladakh has more in common culturally with Tibet. The effects of development and globalization in the region, which began in the 1970s, have been studied by Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder and director of Local Futures.

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To the New Land
By Jihae Kwon
Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington D.C.: Jihae Kwon, 2014. Edition of 5.

5.5 x 7" closed, opens to 11" diameter carousel book. Three layers. Hand-painted in gouache. Screen printed. Text written by the artist. Bound in paper over boards with cloth spine and ribbon closure. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Colophon: "This book is inspired by a trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and the explanation about Canada de la Virgen* by archaeologist Albert T. Coffee. 'To the New Land' is a carousel book about a journey that indigenous people of Latin America made through the land and water to come to the new land, the Americas. They built places of worship, made sacrificial offerings, and observed the movements of the sun, moon, and stars, remembering they were not alone."

*A pre-Columbian archaeological site in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

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you are with me
By Jihae Kwon
Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington D.C.: Jihae Kwon, 2014. Edition of 10.

9.75 x 14" closed, extends up to 6'; 36 pages. Flutter book. Lithography, pronto plate, and letterpress printing processes. Drum leaf binding. Bound in black cloth covered boards with titles stamped on front board. Text in English and Korean. Slipcased. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Poem by Jihae Kwon with translation by Jiyon Kwon.

Jihae Kwon: "In Korea between 1945 and 1953, many radical choices were made to stabilize the political situation. The first president, Syngman Rhee, used extreme measures to secure his power by removing any opposition, communists or non-communists. Estimates as high as 300,000 people were falsely accused, imprisoned, and executed. They were taken to hills and mountains, shot, and dumped in ditches. Two of my grand uncles were victims of being falsely accused and executed. This book is about the mass killings of innocent people during the tragic time in Korea."

Introduction: "There are still many people who have not been able to bury family members and friends or openly mourn their deaths. This book is to remember all those innocent victims during this tragic time in Korea."

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Jihae Kwon Out of Print Title:  
unhappily ever
By Jihae Kwon
Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington D.C.: Jihae Kwon, 2013. Edition of 7.

3.75 x 5.5"; 14 pages. Lithographs. Pamphlet binding then bound in paper covers with long stitch binding. Signed and numbered by the artist. Laid in four flap paper case with slip-and-slot closure.

Jihae Kwon: "Unhappily Ever was inspired by a conversation with colleagues about fairy tales with altered endings and how many people were not familiar with the original endings.

"While I was researching fairy tales from the 18th century at the Library of Congress, Jacqueline Coleburn [Rare Book Cataloger LOC] showed me a small children's book called 'Histories or Tales of Past Times: Told by Mother Goose, with Morals' (1780) by Perrault which became the inspiration for the size of this book. Unhappily Ever brings the medieval children's fairy tales to adults in a modern book structure.

Unhappily Ever contains five well-known fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Charles Perrault with the original endings. There are more to the stories than what people know, and these stories were not lost in translation. Although the endings have been altered, the moral of the stories remains relatively true."

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Page last update: 03.27.18


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