Artist: Jenny Cho
Media: Drawing and Painting
Gallery: CSULB school of art, Gatov Gallery East
This week I had the pleasure of meeting Jenny Cho on Wednesday February 16th 2017. Jenny is an Undergraduate student who is in her last Semester here at CSULB. Jenny had multiple pieces which were located in the Gatov Gallery East section. When asking Jenny about her inspiration about her artwork she has said that she had wanted to make a piece of artwork that was connecting to the community. She had wanted to break feminism norms as well as represent who she was!
In the first piece Jenny had wanted to create a piece of work that was connected on both sides. She had wanted to see how the art sits in the space, not just a regular scroll, but a piece that is perpendicular to the wall, the only problem being that it was double sided. Because her artwork was double sided it made her think of binaries and dualities in nature. Jenny had talked about her inspiration of sudo buddhism for her first piece which was a lotus flower. On one side you had a non bloomed lotus and on the second side you had a blossom. One side was made with watercolor a wet medium and then the other was within the same medium but dry which looks as crayon which was painted on the other side. It was in this woven painting that the two sides became one. The hidden message behind this piece was said to be that of feminist themes; how men and female negotiate and become accepting of each other. She says that her spirituality looks as buddhist but she’s actually not, however she does like the way the two different things make it up to one. This is why she thinks man and woman should interact by being accepting of each other. In this artwork there are diodes which hold together the artwork. The blooming and non blooming is the fight between nature and technology which are on the far ends of the spectrum in appearance like man and woman but technology can mimic nature and at one point can work together. Her diodes come from a circuit board which holds the artwork together however nature is dependent upon technology within this piece.
The second piece was an assignment where you needed to create a nontraditional portrait, this piece characterized her every aspect. Jenny’s inspiration behind this work was based on gender identity, and trying to figure out how it works in society, cultural. The heels are based off of Wizard of Oz she advocated feminism and the artwork represents the gay community which is why there is a rainbow. This sculpture is her headspace: how women become the way they are, why they do certain things. When she was a child she played with barbie dolls which is why both the barbie shoes and head are incorporated into the piece. Inside Jenny’s house there is also a mirror which makes you think of yourself and what relation you have to the objects around you. In society women have to look a certain way; they alway have to be groomed which is why there is barbie doll hair inside the room. The mirror also shows how simply something can shatter and be destroyed by something so petty. Jenny had pointed out that some people don’t care about the image, if you step out of the cultural norm you will get labeled as a slut. Jenny speaks from personal experiences with double standards of being labeled as a slut for having fun back in highschool, but being branded the slut sticks with you for your lifetime. Jenny says that you should be able to exist in both noms without having a label hanging over your head. Jenny had also spoken of how her work talks about fine art vs craft. Unfortunately in our society women’s work is considered craft, and made from materials that can be found at michaels. It is this reason specifically that she bought all of her supplies from michaels. In her artwork Jenny wants to push against the fine arts norm because to her fine art painting isn’t just oil elegant paintings, or heroic characteristics, to jenny art can be dainty and cute and aesthetically pleasing. Jenny wants her work to look like it was made by hand to make you think about femininity. Jenny wants to prove that you can’t underestimate the artistic creativity of an art piece bases on the way it looks.
When speaking to Jenny about what goes into her artwork supply wise she had spoken of finding all of her materials at michael’s or she had made from hand. These materials included paint, diodes, wood, barbie doll parts, rods, paper and watercolor. When looking at the two pieces of art that Jenny had created it had broughten me back to my childhood. Making art with simple supplies yet you could turn them into something beautiful. The first piece was made from strips of paper that were cut into long pieces and painted on different mediums. These strips were painted into different designs one on each side that turned into a beautiful image. These strips were different widths and varied in brightness of color which looked unorganized, but, at the same time harmonious. The second structure looked like an iglu for a home that was painted into a house. This looked cute from the front, however, the back was labeled as slut with permanent marker. Which when talking to the artist about their work the task is being able to show the two worlds that we live in. This quaint house had see through material with holes poked on the outside of the structure.
When looking at the art pieces it was difficult at first to see the different meanings within each piece. The first piece of artwork was of the lotus flower, and this work was difficult to see the hidden meaning from afar. It wasn’t until you got closer to the work that you could see the diodes that were woven into the artwork and it was here that you were able to see how the technology was able to hold together the nature. However this was hard to grasp at first and it wasn’t until talking to the artist that I was able to understand the hidden meaning. It was here that upon first look that you were able to identify the two pieces that were combined together. The first side was of the non blooming flower and then the other side of the blooming flower. The second piece of work was of the self portrait that was a representation of her life and it was here that you were able to get an insightful look at Jenny’s life. This piece really resonated with me because it’s all about self image. Needing to hide certain aspects of your life in order to be accepted by society, and when you fall out of the norm you can be labeled, and sometimes they can be permanent. This happens to hit really deep with me because I have had friends labeled in high school and I have seen how it can affect someone, and turn them into someone they aren’t.
When talking to the artist she had said that she had no website, however she did have an instagram under, Cxthxdx_gxrl. It is on this instagram where she posts all of her artwork throughout her time here at CSULB.