Witty Mashups Without Meaning

March 3, 2016 - garden totes

Installation perspective of 'Jiha Moon: Double Welcome, Most Everyone's Mad Here' during a Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (all photos by a author for Hyperallergic)

Installation perspective of ‘Jiha Moon: Double Welcome, Most Everyone’s Mad Here’ during a Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (all photos by a author for Hyperallergic) (click to enlarge)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Jiha Moon’s colorful mixed-media works are in a collections of a Asia Society in New York and a Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, among other US institutions. Solo museum exhibitions, residencies, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation extend also figure on her resume. Cannily sketch on a mash-up of tellurian cultures, Moon’s art is represented by galleries in New York and Atlanta (where a Korea-born artist is based).

Moon’s densely collaged paintings, mixed-media fiber works, and rainbow-hued ceramic pieces are featured in Jiha Moon: Double Welcome, Most Everyone’s Mad Here, a furloughed solo uncover now during a Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (it travels subsequent to Salina, Kansas). With a pretension channeling a rabbit hole down that Alice tumbled, a muster facilities some 60 objects and spans Moon’s prolongation from 2010 by 2015, with a infancy of objects constructed in 2014. The display is partial of a inhabitant debate of mid-size venues and is accompanied by an essay created by Lilly Wei, an eccentric curator who binds an MA from Columbia University.

Display of ceramic works in 'Jiha Moon: Double Welcome, Most Everyone's Mad Here' during a Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Display of ceramic works in ‘Jiha Moon: Double Welcome, Most Everyone’s Mad Here’ during a Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (click to enlarge)

The letter refers to Moon’s rendezvous with such contemporary concerns as “international culture,” “the other,” and “kitsch and rudimentary stereotypes.” It describes a featured materials as an “ironic mélange” and emphasizes a intentionally absurdist and decidedly non-ideological inlet of her work. Thus, Moon is vetted and permitted as an artist of merit, whose work bears declare to farrago in a visually jovial manner.

However, I was not quite engaged. Little of what we saw or review resonated with me. Such miss of unrestrained on my partial was a genuine explanation about personal taste, and a temperament on vicious opinion. we satisfied that we cite work that leaves room for thoughtfulness — rather than pulling me into polemics or, in Moon’s case, a excess of celebration. From a get-go, my prejudices were in play and zero on perspective budged them. If we can transparent this onslaught during all clearly, it would be to contend that Moon does not amply compute her cocktail enlightenment “mélange” from a rough visuals that are featured on a woven cosmetic receptacle bags at my internal hipster shop.

To be clear, it’s not her crafting of a works that we question. Moon has good trickery in a far-reaching operation of media. The emanate is what she does — or does not do — to rouse her visible ideas above large other suave and smart commodities. This is where my ambience in art is not prepared to welcome her altogether production.

Jiha Moon, Small Peach (2013)

Jiha Moon, “Small Peach” (2013)

There were quieter pieces here and there that stood out from a ubiquitous hilarity due to their relations deficiency of polychromy, texture, and pop-cultural references (some of which, like a Angry Birds faces, no longer possess a aptitude they once did). A ceramic work called “Small Peach” (2013) serves as an example. The pink symbolizes immortality in China and, along with a Sino-American kitsch of a span of appended function cookies, suggests a visualisation on that immortality. Thankfully, a intent is finished with a gently diffused, brownish glitter that authorised my eyes to dawdle on nuances — such as a approach that darker areas of glitter intensify a clarification of form.

Jiha Moon, Mexican Korea Blue Willow Face Jug (2014)

Jiha Moon, “Mexican Korea Blue Willow Face Jug” (2014) (click to enlarge)

That said, a integrate of madly flashy clay pieces work really well, one of them being “Mexican Korean Blue Willow Face Jug” (2014). It visually mixes during slightest 4 opposite informative references from roughly as many periods, though in such a approach that any evocation of a civilization engages in irritable review with a others. Maybe it’s a exercise of leering smiles around a rim that pulls it together. Maybe it’s a approach anxiety to unsettled and unsettling face mammillae from a Southern US. Or maybe it’s a tangential attribute a square shares with lucha libre masks. But, along with a handful of other objects, it has a congruity that really few others — both two- and three-dimensional — in a muster even try to claim. With honour to a change of works, Moon seems calm to emanate not so most mixed juxtapositions as pile-ons that are loud but observant anything.

Perhaps my critique (or disposition in taste) is this: suggestive work needs to do some-more than simply acknowledge farrago and evidence into renouned culture. It needs to do some-more than entice different cultures to a celebration and applaud them — or to simply let them all celebration down. It needs to awaken them into rendezvous with one another. It’s clear that Moon is able of doing so, it’s only not function in a works in this exhibition.

Alternate views of Jiha Moon's Mexican Korea Blue Willow Face Jug (2014)

Alternate views of Jiha Moon’s “Mexican Korea Blue Willow Face Jug” (2014)

Jiha Moon: Double Welcome, Most Everyone’s Mad Here continues during a Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (314 South Park Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan) by Mar 6.

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