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Releasing the Wounded Soul

Jinwon Chang

March 4~26, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, March 4th, 6-8pm

Curated by Suechung Koh

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The title of this show is especially suited to the works of Chang because it refers to the artistic equivalent of Zen philosophy that seeks cleansing the spirit by ridding oneself of illusory existence and therefore fears.

In his beautiful hand-made paper installation Chang presents the meditative impulse that is capable of healing negativity because of its seminal relationship to Shamanism. On the sharp edges of his paper he attaches pointy ceramic claws that express the contradictory sides of human impulses. So that the softness of the hand made paper is offset against the hard ceramic of the threatening pointy claws. This is the contradictory potential of every human mind that at times can have healing effects and at others harmful. Objects floating in the air are free from burden, and they contain rich life energy. The complexity of Chang's sculptures may allude to paradox, memory, trauma, anxiety, but they transform the gallery into a meditative space in which our wounded mind is purified.

Chang combines the traditional with the contemporary. He uses Korean Calligraphy and some landscape forms as well as traditional materials such as Korean ink and paper. His works on paper are heavily layered. With charcoal he draws random lines and sometimes writes his desires in Korean or Chinese characters. The materials he uses are charcoal, black gesso, acrylic paint, mechanical pencils, and metallic powders. With an intuitive sense of balance and acquired compositional skill, he uses rulers to scrape off the heavily layered mixed media and works towards the manifestation of his concept. His work is a form of devotion for him, a path as legitimate as pure meditation.

Jinwon Chang was born in 1967 in S. Korea and he earned his MFA at Chung Ang University, S. Korea and also at SUNY New Paltz University, NY. He is working based in New York now. While he took part in group exhibitions from past years, this is his first solo exhibition in New York.