List of Works
“Undique” Sculptures and Paintings
The paintings for this show began in 2018 as an offshoot of the sculptures and photographic work I exhibited in a show titled, “No Logo,” at West Los Angeles College in 2014.
The title, “No Logo,” was taken from Naomi Klein’s 1999 book, No Logo (No Space, No Choice, No Jobs, No Logo), which focused on connections between branding, market globalization, and consequent narrowing of individual choices. The sculptures were made by deconstructing brand name shopping bags of high and low markets (neutralizing their separated audiences), and presented by mimicking a runway fashion show. Juxtaposed alongside were extreme close-up photographs of the sculptures, which I then abstracted a bit using Photoshop, offering further suggestions as to the obscured trajectories of the objects’ production before they become all too fungible contents of the bags, only temporarily.
The paintings are, in one respect, a third spinoff of the original sculptures. However, unlike the photographs, they are executed from ‘life’, allowing shifting focus and varied viewpoints; for it was difficult to have the eye focus on one facet as that facet contains already many facets concurrently, and by the complex twisting and turning, somewhat peristaltic movement of the folds and creases of the paper, I’m addressing the inversions of outside and inside, or vice-versa. I wanted the motion and speed of how the bags were made to be present somehow in my more contemplated and abstractly interpreted still-life paintings, while addressing simultaneity of multiple views; hence my title, “Undique,” which in Latin means ‘from all sides’. My intention with the paintings is to be as inclusive as possible, leveling every side or facet of the object with the same attention, even interior spaces which are often ignored in contemporary sculptures.
Born in South Korea, and immigrated to the U.S. in her childhood, Helen Chung is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting, sculpture, and photography, while she underlines the the work with suggestive political and philosophical queries. Expounding on subjects of popular culture, literature, and science, Chung’s evocative projects draw from her experience as an international shoe designer. Her exhaustive exploration of paper of various qualities draws from her interest in pattern making and study in architecture.
“My practice can be divided into two sections, although conceptually come from wider range of interests”, says the artist, “ One part of the practice takes many months to complete, employing complex planning, design and engineering, and the other part, is executed with speed, allowing whim and accidents. The seemingly disparate genres in my practice have an undercurrent that deals with deconstruction and reconstruction, either physically or psychologically, or both”.
Chung earned her BA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She continued with postgraduate studies in philosophy at UCLA. She also has an ongoing practice of Portrait from Life, which started in 2015, documenting her immediate world in an organic spontaneous matter that she calls, “Lunch Portraits” inspired by Frank Ohara’s Lunch Poems.