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Jae Ko: Gi (氣 Vital Force), at Opera Gallery

Date: Wednesday 22 March - Tuesday 9 May 2023
Opera Gallery | Unit 6 | Burlington Arcade | 51 Piccadilly | London W1J OQJ | | [Map]

Tickets: Free | Exhibition notice on gallery website here
Jae Ko: JK454 Wine Carmine with Orange 2014 - 2017
Jae Ko: JK454 Wine Carmine with Orange
2014 – 2017. Rolled paper, colour pigment and glue
38 x 51 x 13 cm. Courtesy the gallery and artist

Opera Gallery is pleased to present Korean/American artist Jae Ko’s first exhibition in London. Featuring wall-mounted works and freestanding sculptures, the selection traces Jae Ko’s distinctive visual language with elegant ellipses, spirals, and ribbon installations made of recycled paper soaked in vats of ink. Her biomorphic creations address the relationship between humans, nature, and writing, all of which focus on an expressive form of figuration resonant with movement and the chromatic interplay of fluid, organic form. Informed by her Korean roots as much as by her training in Japan and subsequent career in the US, her works seamlessly combine and challenge the principles of these traditions. Jae Ko aims ‘to present the hidden forces of nature’, drawing connections with traditional East Asian beliefs that a vital force animates all living entities, flowing through all aspects of nature.

Born in 1961, Korean artist Jae Ko attended the Tokyo art school and received a BA from the Wako University in Japan and a MFA from the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore, USA. She currently lives and works in Maryland, USA.

Jae Ko creates a new visual language with elegant spirals and ribbon installations that can take on monumental proportions. She finds inspiration in nature, and her forms readily evoke organic matter-tree rings, tornadoes, roots, branches or seeds. The intuitive design of each of Ko’s sculptures are made from miles of everyday office, recycled paper or adding-machine tapes, which she unwinds and reshapes, bathes in vats of ink and then lets dry out over months. Her seductive work occupies a space between writing and sculpting; a biomorphic form that often looks like a swollen calligraphic mark.

In 2002, Jae Ko received the Pollock-Krasner grant. In 2012, she was awarded the prestigious ‘Anonymous Was A Woman’ art award and The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC mounted Ko’s installation of “Force of Nature”. Her work is part of prestigious private and public collections such as the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Phillips Collection in Washington DC, the Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington DC, the Washington D.C. Convention Center, Wilson Building, Washington, DC and the ADM in Chicago, IL amongst others.

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