Opening Reception 6 PM - 9 PM, Saturday, Sept 17, 2022
SEPT 17, 2022 – NOV 20, 2022
“Reverie” is an encompassing solo exhibition that presents Imi Hwangbo’s work in Constructed Drawing from the past twenty years. This show includes several of the artist’s large-scale works in hand-cut paper, and premieres her new work in Constructed Prints. Hwangbo creates three-dimensional drawings made with multiple layers of paper than are printed, cut, and layered in such quantity that sculptural forms are created. Trained as a sculptor, the artist uses the medium of paper as both a picture plane and a physical material that can be cut and shaped to convey an experience of light and shadow.
Based on decorative patterns from Korean decorative arts, Hwangbo’s work draws imagery from traditional wrapping cloths and the ornamentation of Buddhist temples. Many of her geometric patterns and floral motifs recall folk beliefs in a living and powerful landscape. The iconography features flowers, animals, and aspects of the natural landscape that are associated with protection from harm and desires for health, longevity, and fertility.
Evocative of the decorative arts, her Constructed Drawings are designed to be alluring to the eye and highly crafted over the entire surface. These works are sculptural reliefs that use perspective drawing to evoke a sense of deep space that exists in the viewer’s perception. Made with up to thirty layers of paper, the constructed drawings embody an optical illusion that suggests a moment where the real and the imagined intersect. These works are primarily cut by hand, a labor-intensive process which the artist describes as challenging, yet also meditative.
Her newest work is a series of Constructed Prints that combines a printed image with a cut paper relief element. This new work begins with a hand-made drawing in pencil that evolves slowly over a period of several months. Graphite is layered to create rich darks, and the outer perimeter is created with tiny, pointillistic marks. Gradually, an image develops that evokes an illusion of great depth, which is then transformed into a print. The hand-drawn image is contrasted with an elaborate cut paper pattern that is mounted to the surface of the print. The patterns, which resemble a floating field of flowers, are drawn from Korean decorative arts. Seen against an illusionistic image of space, the floating patterns create a drawing with light and shadow.