Calligraphy and acid house, Jiha Moon‘s work is an exciting explosion and collage of cultural imagery
Words by Rose Arnold
Acid house smiley faces, a Marge Simpson bouffant, msn butterflies all appear in her paintings alongside lotus blossoms, calligraphy, traditional looking Asian landscapes and lions.
We’re covering Jiha Moon under our Asian Artist slot because we really like her. And she is in fact Asian. Born in Daegu, South Korea she got both her bachelors and masters in fine arts in the country before moving to the States. But really truly she has to be described and understood as an American Korean artist, her work being so clearly influenced by both countries and by her own experience of straddling the cultures. After growing up in an ethnically homogeneous environment Moon found the diversity of the States stimulating and it shows. She positively revels in it. Her work is a dizzying collage-esque medley of both Korean and American imagery. Acid house smiley faces, a Marge Simpson bouffant, msn butterflies all appear in her paintings alongside lotus blossoms, calligraphy, traditional looking Asian landscapes and lions. It’s no surprise to find out that Moon is a keen collector – of knick knacks, of art, of things – she clearly finds her inspiration from a huge variety of sources.
Colour is another defining element of Moon‘s work. Her pieces are gorgeous, glorious explosions of colour that almost overwhelm. She describes as colour as being part of her visual language, one of the key materials with which to communicate mood and emotion.
Most of Moon‘s work is in paint and ink, on traditional Hanji – Korean Mulberry paper – and she has also used fabric in the past. Recently she has been experimenting with and exhibiting ceramic work, using Asian blue and white ceramic, celadon and crackle glazes.