Kyung Jeon
Based in Brooklyn, NY

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Essay on the Waterlilies


My artwork Rose Garden is featured this week on the homepage of PROTO Magazine
(a Time Inc Magazine).


Weaving Time
Gallery Korea, Korean Cultural Service New York
April 22 to May 28, 2015

Kyung Jeon, Karnival Maypole Long Hair, 2011, Watercolor, gouache and pencil on rice paper on canvas on wood panel, 14 x 11 inches, 35.6 x 28 cm

AHL Foundation and Korean Cultural Service Present

Weaving Time: An Exhibition from the Archive of Korean Artists in America, Part Three 2001-2013

Organizers: AHL Foundation and Korean Cultural Service New York
Location: Gallery Korea, Korean Cultural Service New York
460 Park Avenue at 57th Street, 6th floor
New York, New York 10016
Dates: April 22 to May 28, 2015
Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 6:00–8:00 P.M.

This exhibition is the third installment of a long-term project titled the Archive of Korean Artists in America (AKAA). The first two installments of this series showed the creations of Korean artists who arrived in the United States to live and work, and thus became Korean Americans. A handful of Korean artists settled down in New York in the 1960s followed by a large number of artists who enrolled at various MFA programs in the 1980s. The third installment of this exhibition presents a younger generation of artists who set up their studios in the 2000s. Most artists in the third installment are still in their 40s and are pushing the envelope from emerging to mid-career. Many of them are conceptual, installation, or interdisciplinary artists. A few artists from this generation pursue mediums such as painting, sculpture, or photography. Unlike earlier generations, they are mobile artists, simultaneously living and working in two or three different countries. Consequently, the Archive of Korean-American Artists has been renamed the Archive of Korean Artists in America

Forty-six artists were invited to participate in the third installment, Weaving Time. Instead of a chronological arrangement of their works, the artists are grouped in five themes to highlight vital issues in tune with currents of contemporary art around the world. These artists sometimes moved from one country to another, chasing opportunities and new ideas. This is an exciting occasion to observe what they have accomplished so far and to predict where they are proceeding next. Twenty years from now, this exhibition will become an indispensable part of the Archive of Korean Artists Abroad, another acronym for AKAA.

Participating artists are, though not limited to: Elly Cho, Heejung Cho, Yoon Cho, Flora Choi, Yun-Woo Choi, Jesse Chun, Kira Nam Greene, Eunjung Hwang, Buhm Hong, Jang Soon Im, Hong Seon Jang, Kyung Jeon, Leeah Joo, Yunjung Kang, Eunah Kim, Eun Hyung Kim, Grace Euna Kim, Jung S. Kim, Kyung Han Kim, Songyi M. Kim, Taeseong Kim, Hein Koh, Sangwoo Koh, Suyeon Na, Boonsun Lee, Chang-Jin Lee, Eunkyung Lee, Hayoon Jay Lee, Inhye Lee, Inmi Lee, Jiyoun Lee-Lodge, Kakyoung Lee, Sang Wook Lee, Zaun Lee, Jongil Ma, Hye-Ryoung Min, Jin-Kang Park, Jaye Rhee, kate hers RHEE, Inyoung Seong, Yusam Sung, Eunnye Yang, Haeri Yoo, Sang-Mi Yoo, Heeseop Yoon, Jayoung Yoon

Weaving Time: An Exhibition from the Archive of Korean Artists in America, Part Three, 2001–2013 is supported in part by the Cultural Development Fund of the Department of Cultural Affairs in New York City and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Comprising approximately 70 works by 46 artists as well as documentary materials and spanning the first decade of the twenty-first century, Weaving Time: An Exhibition from the Archive of Korean Artists in America, Part Three 2001-2013 is organized into several thematic sections:

Dismantling Boundaries
Artists who arrived in the United States in the late 1990s were college students during Korea’s prosperous years following the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Exposed to strong economic growth and development in Korea, they had already traveled abroad and chose New York, among other cities, to pursue their artistic careers. Those who arrived immediately after 9/11 and those who experienced the events of 9/11 focused much on the connectivity of human beings within a larger community. Still emerging from Korea’s rigorous training in art studio programs, these artists were seeking for innovative ways to express themselves. Just like the Generation Xers in the United States, these artists welcomed and embraced new technology and thrived in the field both with their accustomed vocabulary and with a provocative twist. As much as the Generation Xers were known for individualism, artists of this period also strived to reach out beyond their individual shell and trace connectivity between the self and the community, the self and the universe, and the self and the alter ego. Artists of this group were receptive to new ideas and challenges. Stretched across both worlds in Asia and North America, they extend their artistic experiments into an intricate network of social relationships and global encounters.
Transcendent Narrative
At the turn of the twenty-first century, many artists sought out the emerging field of technology and multidisciplinary approaches. Yet artists in this group were eager to develop their own language of formal quest. Reminiscent of the steel sculptures of the 1950s or the minimalist works of the 1960s, the artists’ constructions are reserved, refined, and sophisticated. Instead of focusing on external changes of global society, they cultivated a new vocabulary and insinuated undercurrent problems of post–Cold War and post-colonial politics. Many artists in this group create ambitious installations or public art projects. Materials are diverse, from eco-friendly wood to video, thread, and paper. They may constitute a new age of constructive formalism with social activism.

Cosmopolitan Citizen
After the 9/11 attacks, world politics were being reshaped. As the Middle East is returning to conservatism, East Asia presents a shining image of progressive strides in art and culture. Korean heritage is reinterpreted with growing confidence from economic success, K-Pop, Korean cinema, and the urban panache of hip centers. At the same time historical awareness is represented in visual arts with more nuanced and contextual approaches. Many problems disseminating from Korean history are now perceived as part of East Asian geopolitical legacy, such as Japanese Imperialism and post–World War II Nationalism. Using video installations, performances, or public art projects along with oil painting, drawing, and collages, artists unearth new genres and critical voices.

Difference and Self-Reflexivity
Body politics from the last decade of the twentieth century remained crucial for the artists of this generation. In continuity of the body representation in the 1990s, these artists focused on the images of self and also significant others. A woman’s physique is represented in conventional or unconventional ways in which their roles are exaggerated, reduced, or transformed in post-industrial society. Interests in Korean exceptionalism or universal cosmopolitanism do appear in this exploration of corporal sensitivity.

Subjective Community
A predominant trend among artists of this exhibition is the focus on self. Yet many artists transcend individualism into a unique sense of communalism or community-inspired art works. For some, self is defined through the relationship with the world surrounding oneself. This conscious effort of situating oneself within a complicated urban fabric is noticeable among this group of artists. Sometimes embedded sometimes distanced, artists observe and decode communities, buildings, streets, and landscapes that they encounter across their global journey.

Weaving Time: An Exhibition from the Archive of Korean Artists in America, Part Three, 2001–2013 is co-curated by Kyunghee Pyun, Assistant Professor in history of art at the State University of New York, Fashion Institute of Technology, and Hee Sung Cho, curator of Gallery Korea at the Korean Cultural Service New York. Dr. Soojung Hyun at Manhattanville College and Donghwa Cultural Foundation is a chief researcher of the project.

Exhibition Catalogue

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated, 100-plus page catalogue with essays by Kyunghee Pyun, Hyewon Yi, Soojung Hyun, and Hee Sung Cho.

Education and Public Programs
For complete information about the range of public programs presented in conjunction with Weaving Time, please visit and

American University Museum Katzen Art Center
April 1 - June 1, 2014

Curated by Inhee Iris Moon
4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016

#KJSelfie with Korean Updos Diane Von Furstenberg, 2014
Pencil, acrylic gouache on Hanji paper/paper, 30 1/8 x 22 1/4 inches

Double Mirror is a mixed media and mixed genre exhibition including a group of 30 Korean and Korean-American artists whose works share, reflect and refract the conditions of having bi-cultural identities in the ultra modern society. These unique artists convey the cultural complexity and richness of serving two countries; Korea and America through their works. They employ masterful techniques of multiple mediums including painting, drawing, photography, new media, and reliefs. Double Mirror is an exploration of the ways contemporary Korean-American artists have faced, challenged, changed and re-formulated the issue of physical, mental and virtual immigration.

These 30 innovative artists represented in Double Mirror work with ideas reflecting their diverse identities and subject matters as influenced by their multi-cultural backgrounds and media-controlled societies. As a whole, their work reflects a common vulnerability, uncertainty and solitude of their subjects, many of whom are captured in the process of transporting and transforming themselves from their move and shift. These subjects are depicted using techniques of deconstruction, superimposition, repetition and fraction to inform their meanings. Whether physically embodied, absent or entirely void, some subjects are familiar, some are estranged and others entirely escape our reality. Many of the works in Double Mirror both literally and symbolically Imply the notion that altered and distorted realities govern our existence. Our lasting impression of this exhibition is that fluidity and adaptability exist hand-in-hand with fragility and vulnerability. Double Mirror reflects these subjects that are beautifully rendered in sublime.

Artists: Atta Kim 김아타 BG Muhn문범강 Daru-Jung Hyang Kim 김정향 Duck Hyun Cho 조덕현Eun Jin Jang장은진 Ha Lee이하 Hee Soo Kim 김희수 Hong Hee Kim 김홍희 Hye Rim Lee이혜림 Hyungsub Shin신형섭 Hyong Nam Ahn 안형남 Ik-Joong Kang 강익중 Jae Yong Kim 김재용 Jong Hoon Yang양종훈 Joon Kim 김준 Jun Ahn안준 Koh, Sang Woo고상우 Kyung Jeon전경 Mina Cheon 천민정 Moha Ahn안종연 Myong Hi Kim김명희 Nara Park 박나라 Sei Ryun Chun 천세련 Sook Jin Jo조숙진 Sung Hee Cho조성희 Sung Ho Choi 최성호Tchah Sup Kim 김차섭Young-Mi Kim 김영미Yoo Ah Park 박유아 Hong, Buhm 홍범

Rebirth of Difference _ 다름의 부활 전시
Featuring works by Kyung Jeon 전 경, Juwon Lee 이주원

April 11 - 27, 2014
Curated by Minsook Nam
Opening reception, Friday April 11th at 6pm-8pm

Gallery 1989
, 1989 Palmer Ave., Larchmont, N.Y. 10538 Google Map
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 1-7pm

Rebirth of Difference exhibits various mediums and genres including two Korean and Korean-American artists, Kyung Jeon and Juwon Lee. Jeon and Lee are influenced by socio-cultural aspects taking place in Korea. The show reflects diverse identities, cultural differences, and complexities between North and South Korea and America. The exhibition will demonstrate how these artists create harmony between tradition and the present, as well as the way in which art has had an impact on their ideologies.

POLLINATION: Overlappings in Time and in Place
Gallery Korea of the Korean Cultural Service NY, 460 Park Ave @57th St, NY, NY
September 11 - October 25, 2013
Opening Reception: September 11th, 6-8pm


The Korean Cultural Service of NY is proud to present the first exhibition of Fall/Winter 2013. A group of Korean, Korean-American and American artists come together to present their recent works expressing what is most crucial to them today. 

The story begins with an interpretation from Confucius' words regarding moderation, the Mean and relevant timing. 

A fusion of work by contemporary artists chosen for their diverse and overlapping personal histories, vision and approaches to art making come together to create a great amount of synergy. Originating in distant geographical locations and cultures, their work intersects: West and East; New York and Seoul; Gwangju, Damyang and Kingston. 

By exploring what is most crucial to each artists practice and viewing this work both as individual statements and as part of a larger collective language, new forms emerge. These are defined simultaneously by distinct contrasts and shared concerns. All participants, to varying degrees, are crossing through boundaries. 

Art fills the space with the high contrast of natural and synthetic materials, vibrant hues and muted tones. Traditional and experimental mediums collide and come together. Korean painting maintains its rich traditional use of materials while moving into a shared contemporary vision and context. Two Korean photographers and a sculptor form upstate New York embrace the nature surrounding them. Farming installation, social sculpture changing in time, paintings with food and parachuting young girls are only the beginning of what you will see. 

The participating artists in “Pollination: Overlappings in Time and in Place” are: Jae Yong Chun, Kira Nam Greene, Roman M. Hrab, Kyung Jeon, Sun Doo Kim, Young Tae Kim, Hein Koh, Gyu Chae La, Jongil Ma, Lee Puckett, George Raggett, Juju U, and Elizabeth Winton.

Kyung Jeon | Eemyun Kang
Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea
August 23 - September 23, 2012
Opening Reception: August 23, 5pm

Two-person Exhibition of Kyung Jeon | Eemyun Kang
Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea
August 23 - September 23, 2012
Opening Reception: August 23, 5pm

Kukje Gallery is pleased to announce a two-person exhibition of Kyung Jeon and Eemyun Kang. Known for their unique idiosyncratic approach to painting, the artists are widely celebrated for playing with symbolic vocabularies and formal approaches to painting. Jeon and Kang will both exhibit new works made specifically for the exhibition.

Based in the US, Kyung Jeon work is founded on the artist's keen interest in creating psychological narratives, many of which directly reference her experiences growing up as a first generation Korean American.

Eemyung Kang lives and works in London. Receiving attention since her studies at The Royal Academy of Arts, London, Kang has developed a recognizable style that explores core themes of nature and the myth of metamorphosis.

Kyung Jeon (b. 1975) work draws on influences as diverse as children's fairy tales, traditional Korean genre paintings, and modern canonical paintings. Her playful and often dark stories are based on a combination of personal and historical references that upturn static themes of childhood and innocence. Known for her subtle application of traditional and contemporary painting styles, Jeon paints on rice paper mounted to canvas. Exploiting the rice paper's traditional reference to Korean folk painting alongside her own funny and uncanny themes the artist is able to explore the intersection of past and present.

Jeon's paintings are immediately inviting, presenting a light-hearted and innocent world depicted in pastel-toned images of semi-nude girls and cheeky little boys. However, upon closer look, the works reveal an alternate reality brimming with acts of violence and earthly pleasures. The artist is adept at weaving these dark and light themes together in dynamic compositions that draw the viewer in and allow them to reconsider their own nostalgic reality. For her exhibition at Kukje, Jeon will exhibit a new series of mural-sized works titled Waterlilies. Her Waterlilies capture an arcadian world inspired by Claude Monet's seminal series Water Lilies. The gentle setting is framed as a paradisical microcosm for children only to slowly betray its more sinister identity as a place for wickedness, from swimming and playing to spying and drowning. Numerous disparate stories are presented together in a complex web that has no beginning or end. The works in this new series engage the artist's on-going exploration of storytelling by a means of filling-in, reinventing, and re-sorting gaps in history.

Kyung Jeon was born in 1975 in Jersey City, New Jersey. She studied art and philosophy in Boston College and received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY. Jeon is the recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2009) and was the Associate Artist in Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, funded by the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2009). She has held numerous solo exhibitions including Savannah College of Art and Design, and participated in group exhibitions in museums and galleries in Asia, U.S.A., Europe and South America, including Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul. Jeon lives and works in NYC.

Eemyun Kang's exquisite paintings depict her fascination with nature and the process of morphology. Ably translating organic forms into lush abstractions, Kang creates complex worlds marked by energetic and fluid brush strokes.

For the exhibition at Kukje Gallery, Kang takes the changing seasons as a central motif. In addition she has combined a disparate group of literary sources as inspiration including Alaskan Inuit myths, a poem A year of thinking / thinking of a year by artist and writer Fabien Peak, written in response to and inspired by Kang's paintings, and the Biblical story of Jonah and the whale. These three sources form the basis for the narratives contained in Kang's new paintings.

The artist defines myth as a tool for understanding nature and events in the real world. For Kang, "Myth is a tool that operates through the creative imagination. Myth as traditional tales, legends and folklores are also linked with use of myth in my paintings as a starting point for creating a narrative of events."

The ideas behind these stories are not illustrated figuratively or in a linear narrative but are intended to be read by the viewer intuitively. The stories allude to simple pictorial references including whales, fungi, snow, wind, moon, forests and valleys. These elements shift and combine, allowing for transformation to take place on a metaphorical level and formally in complex layers of paint on canvas.

Alternating between abstract and figurative registrars, Kang creates imagined hybrid worlds or mystic landscapes. In Kang's paintings, the paint and canvas constitute transformative elements that mediate between subject and object, subconsciousness and consciousness, abstraction and figuration. Kang is also known to leave the canvas appear unfinished, a decision that activates the canvas and mirrors nature's infinite process of change and transformation.

Eemyun Kang was born in 1981 in Busan, Korea. She obtained her BA from The Slade School of Fine Art and completed her postgraduate studies at The Royal Academy of Arts, where she was awarded the school's prestigious Gold Medal upon graduation in 2009. She has also received her doctorate degree from University of East London. Kang's work has been exhibited widely in the UK as well as internationally, including group shows at the Seoul Arts Center, and the Korean Culture Center in London. She has a solo exhibition forthcoming in 2012 at the Trondheim Museum of Art, Norway. Eemyun Kang currently lives and works in London.

Kukje Gallery
54 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu Seoul, 110-200 Korea Tel: + 82) 2 735 8449 / Fax: + 82) 2 733 4879


Tina Kim Gallery is pleased to present Kyung Jeon: Belle Rascal. For her second solo exhibition with the gallery, Jeon has chosen an approach that evokes her process - exhibiting a selection of small works, preparatory drawings, and pages from her sketchbook alongside two fully-realized large-scale paintings.

Drawing influences from such disparate sources as children's fairytales, traditional Korean genre painting, and the eccentric worlds of Henry Darger and Hieronymus Bosch, Jeon's works explore in-depth issues of portraiture and narrative. The mural-sized Little Persons, Big Steps and A Weeping Willow (both 2009) offer sweeping vistas of seemingly fantastical lands. Elaborately-rendered, these locales are inhabited by diminutive characters, deliberately simplified to function as archetypes of male or female, adult or child, who play out various scenarios in a full spectrum of emotion. Allegorical microcosms in-and-of themselves, these works are balanced by Jeon's smaller paintings and drawings which focus more intently on individual characters and themes.

Kyung Jeon was born in 1975 in Jersey City, New Jersey, and received her MFA in 2005 from the School of Visual Arts, NY. The recipient of the Scope Emerging Art Grant (2005), and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Fellowship (2003), Jeon was most recently awarded a grant from the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2009). Her work has been included in exhibitions in museums and galleries in Asia, South America, Europe and the United States, including the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul and the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Jeon lives and works in New York City.

A catalog is available in conjunction with this exhibition. Tina Kim Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 6 pm. For further information, please contact or call (212) 716-1100.
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