Walsh Gallery

Jongbum Choi


Dates: Mar 18 2006 - Apr 14 2006

Opening Reception: Mar 17 2006

Korean artist Jongbum Choi will create a spectacle of light and sound at Walsh Gallery. Using this space he will install various new media, multi-channel projections. The opening reception is Friday, March 17 from 5 to 9 pm. Mr. Choi will be coming to Chicago for the opening having just returned from his New York debut at the DiVA Fair. At the opening, Mr. Choi will present one of his "visual performances." In these performances, Mr. Choi mixes images like a DJ. One hand controls the selected imagery while the other hand spins music he has created. Mr. Choi has most recently done these performances at DiVA Paris and Cologne.

Mr. Choi has pioneered a new art form he calls a "visual performance" in which he DJs, or spins, images with one hand while spinning music he creates with the other. Thus music is an integral part of his performance. Mr. Choi's visual performance is called "Choi 57 Visual Performance - Walshgallery 2006."

In "The Light" video, Mr. Choi spontaneously projects a lightening array of colored patterns and abstract shapes. Mr. Choi's aesthetic choices are similar to that of a painter as he creates art in real time. His creation of these rapid-fire images lures the viewer into a realm of color, light, and beauty.

"The Stage" part of the video refers to images which are altered to tell a narrative based on Buddhist scripture. Philosophically, the creation of this piece is an interesting paradox since the artist is actually Christian. In the story an illuminated silhouette of a man encounters his existential doubts about existence, enlightenment, and rebirth. At the opening of the "Stage" video, the names of Chinese characters of Mr. Choi and his immediate family fall like snowflakes on a solitary illuminated silhouette of a man. As other people die, their spirits join this solitary figure. As the music builds to a crescendo, the spirits burst into butterflies. The climax is when the visual field becomes filled with butterflies. The butterflies then turn into flowers. Only the silhouette of a man is unable to free himself of his doubts and remain unenlightenedSstill alone. Finally, in the last scene, a blanket of flowers covers all the surfaces.

Mr. Choi's work has been shown around the world, including at the 2004 Shanghai Biennial and Art Chicago 2004. He has also performed at the opening ceremonies of the 2003 and 2004 Gwangju International Film Festivals in Korea. This year Mr. Choi has made special visual performances in the 2005 Cologne Art Fair in Germany and at DiVA Paris and New York as well.

Project Room: RODNEY SWANSTROM has created a complete sensory environment using light, video, aromatherapy, and climate manipulation as his chosen mediums. The "S.L.>>TransPod<<3000" is a space that replicates the architecture of transport.

Dr. William Bridges, the author of Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes, writes that all transitions, whether in body or mind, are composed of three stages. The first stage is the "ending," the second "the neutral zone," and the last is the "new beginning." The TransPod design arises from these concepts.

The viewer enters a jetway ramp with portals that let you see 30,000 feet into the stratosphere. The ramp opens up into a backlit chamber with glowing chairs. There are two-channel video projections which provide sensual imagery reflecting the polarity of man versus nature.

This installation is a cross between hi-tech and low-tech. Picture a Dr. Who episode at once alternating between an embellishment of a NASA space pod and a sixties cool pad.