“It is with life just as with swimming; that man is the most expert who is the most disengaged from all encumbrances. Just the same way, amid the stormy tempests of human life, that which is light tends to our buoyancy, that which is heavy, to sink us.”
The title, “The Lightness of a Moment”, speaks to the fleeting nature of time, formed by flashes that flow one after another. The moment does not have a past or a future, it is “light”. The books used by Jukhee Kwon are antique, abandoned, or unused, tied to a past era but transformed into timeless objects.
The majestic installations steeped in memories pervade the gallery and invite viewers to experience rather than merely contemplate. They are the fruit of a long and laborious process made up of repetitive gestures that, for the artist, slowly become as automatic and free as breathing. For Jukhee Kwon, each slice and action on the book becomes a performance that, although unseen by the viewer, is projected through the complexity of the finished piece.
The viewer is attracted to her sculptures and approaches to make out a sentence, an image, or to understand how such a transformation is possible, and is then guided by the book’s new form. Unlike the process which is meticulous, detailed, and precise, the finished piece takes on full and vigorous forms that allude to a feeling of freedom and movement. The act of deconstructing the book releases each page into space, freeing it from its form and its original purpose, challenging the perception the viewer has of this everyday object.
Jukhee Kwon was born in Dae-Jun, South Korea in 1981 and is currently living and working in Grottaferrata, Rome. She studied fine arts at Chung-Ang University in Korea and holds an MA from Camberwell College of Arts, London. She has exhibited internationally in the UK, France, and Korea. She participated in special projects such as: Dipping into Darkness, Asia House, London 2016; The Book of Galileo, Asia House, London 2014; Arabesque Dream, Abu Dhabi Art, Beyond Sector, United Arab Emirates 2016, and participated in the conference “Focus on Asia”, New York Book Art Fair 2012. Her work is part of the Victoria & Albert Museum collection in London.
Among her last solo exhibitions: Metamorphosis, Ierimonti Gallery, New York, 2018; Objecthood, curated by Tiziana Castelluzzo, Galleria Patricia Armocida, Milan, 2017; Jukhee Kwon, October Gallery, London 2013; Being, La Scatola Gallery, London 2012; Inside-Out, Camberwell College of Arts Library, London 2011; Illustration works, Illustration Studio Space, London, 2010; Tree to Tree, Seorabul Gallery, Korea 2004.
Among her last group exhibitions: Art Verona Fair, Galleria Patricia Armocida, Verona, 2019; Dream No Small Dream: 40 Years of the Transavangarde, October Gallery, London, 2019; Present Moment, October Gallery, London, 2019; Please, return to Busan Port, CHOI&LAGER, Cologne, 2016; Solchi letterari, Museo Scuderie Aldobrandini, Frascati 2016; Have a Good Day, Mr. Kim!, Michael Horbach Foundation in collaboration with Choi & Lager Gallery, Cologne 2015; Art 15, Freedom Audit, October Gallery, London 2015; Malfunction Library, Seoul Museum of Art, Korea 2014; Presents, Choi & Lager Project, Paris 2014; Art 14, October Gallery, London 2014; Journeys, TEA for THREE project, Berlin 2013; Rock, Paper and Scissors, TEA for Three project, Milan 2013; The secret garden, Choi & Lager Project, Paris 2013; Art Dubai, Dubai 2013; Scope Basel, October Gallery, Basel 2013; The world of Extraordinary Objects, October Gallery, London 2013; A Korean Eye, Choi & Lager project, Paris 2012; The Map of Korea, 5th 4482 Korean Exhibition, Barge House Gallery, London 2012.