Jung Hee Choi
Jung Hee Choi has worked in a variety of media: in painting, drawing, video, photography, sculpture, performance, sound and multi-media installations, including several solo and group shows in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Utilizing both traditional and highly experimental techniques, Choi’s vision has led to the development of a unique artistic language. Choi has presented series of environmental compositions involving the concept of “Manifest, Unmanifest” created with video, drawing, incense, performance and sound. Her synthesis of expression in this series collectively creates an intersubjective space as a unified continuum and emphasizes the totality of sense perceptions as a single unit to create a state of immersion.
Choi presented RICE, a video sound performance and installation in a setting of Marian Zazeela’s Imagic Light environment in the MELA Dream House, NYC, in May--June 2003, and in October--November 2005 as a part of the La Monte Young 70th birthday celebration. The 2003 presentation was chosen as one of The 10 Best of 2003 in the December Artforum. Chrissie Iles wrote, “This video-sound work was presented in May at Dream House, the permanent installation of La Monte Young’s eternal music and Marian Zazeela’s magenta lights, and one of Dia founder Heiner Friedrich’s great legacies. A hypnotic projection of rotating mandalic forms radiated out from Zazeela’s magenta color field like silent fireworks, while the sound of Choi tracing a circle around the top of an overturned cooking pot with a rice paddle created a single repeating tone that resonated deep in the solar plexus.” On March 28, 2009, Choi presented a live video sound performance and installation of RICE with Composition in the style of La Monte Young’s 1960 sustained friction sounds in a setting of Marian Zazeela Imagic Light II in the Dream House at the Guggenheim Museum as part of The Third Mind Live series.
Choi’s 3-week solo drawings, video, sound installation, Ahata Anahata, The manifest The unmanifest, As a wheel that is one-rimmed and threefold with one-hundred and one spokes and where the illusion of the one springs from the other two, was presented in April, 2007 at Tompkins Square Gallery, NYC. In a further expansion of the concept, Choi’s solo exhibition, Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest II was presented at the MELA Dream House, September 2009. This exhibition featured multimedia installations, a series of drawings, videos and a sound environment, illuminating various aspects of Choi’s works and their relationships across different media. Choi’s video and sound works have been presented at FRESH 2007 and 2009 festivals of international video art and short films, CODE, Bangkok; Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2007 and 2008; Korea Experimental Arts Festival, 2009 and 2010; BITT Festival 2010, Korea; Diapason Sound and Intermedia Gallery, Gale Gates et al, Monkey Town, NYC; Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, Polling, Germany, Gallery Hinterconti, Hamburg, Germany. Choi’s drawing-video-sound installations were exhibited in Asian Contemporary Art Fair, NYC, November 2008, and Art Asia Miami, December 2008. Choi’s Multimedia installation Environmental Composition 2008 #1 was featured as part of Faces & Facts: Korean Contemporary Art in New York, Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Korean Cultural Service NY, December 2009. Choi’s in-depth interview about her work is featured as part of the Asian Contemporary Art Week presentations organized by Asia Society, NY. Choi’s essay, SOUND: A Basis for Universal Structure in Ancient and Modern Cosmology, was first published in the program notes for the performance of RICE as part of The Third Mind Live series, Guggenheim Museum. It discusses the historical outline of inaudible sound vibrations that appear in ancient writings, including Mesopotamian, Greek, Vedic, Asian and Islamic texts, the physical characteristics of sound and the relationship of these ancient concepts to contemporary scientific discoveries.
In 1999, Choi became a disciple of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in the study of music and art, with the classical Kirana tradition gandha bandh red-thread ceremony in 2003. In 2002 she became a founding member of The Just Alap Raga Ensemble and has performed as vocalist in every concert including those at the MELA Dream House, the 2009 Yoko Ono Courage Award Ceremony, and the Merce Cunningham Memorial. Since 2008 Choi has been teaching Raga as an instructor at the Kirana Center for Indian Classical Music. Choi has collaborated with Young and Zazeela to produce long-term video documentation of their lives and work, including the Dream House and affiliated events. For the La Monte Young Marian Zazeela and The Just Alap Raga Ensemble long-term video installation of "05 II 05 PM NYC" Raga Sundara, ektal vilampit khayal set in Raga Yaman Kalyan at the Kunst im Regenbogenstadl Dream House, Polling, Germany, Choi was both video director and video mastering producer, as well as a vocalist in the Ensemble. Choi also directed the video of the March 21, 2009 Just Alap Raga Ensemble concert from the Guggenheim Dream House, featuring Young, Zazeela, Jung Hee Choi and Da’ud Constant, voices; Jon Catler, sustainer electric guitar; Charles Curtis, cello; and Naren Budhkar, tabla, which has now been installed permanently at Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, Polling, Germany from the opening of their 2009 season, replacing the video of the 2005 Raga Sundara performance.
Choi graduated summa cum laude from NYU. She was founding producer and director for Mantra TV, a cable and webcast vehicle for advanced arts in New York City and Korea from 1998 to 2006. Her programs featured original works of art, music, dance, experimental film, and discussions of creative processes. Choi curated BITT Festival for the Arts 2010; film/video programs for the Korea Experimental Arts Festival, 2010; Syn Aesthetics, the Media Mavericks 1st Experimental Film Festival 2006. She co-curatored KUEIP 2007, 2008 and 2009 (KU Exhibition of International Professors, Seoul, Korea). Choi received The Experimental Television Center’s Finishing Funds 2006 award, supported by the Electronic Media and Film Program at NYSCA.