I believe in the beauty of imperfection. When I find an ugly and awkward moment between colours and shapes in my art, I feel relieved and natural. The shape of lives is not always perfect. It is stained, marked, crushed and scattered. So is art, I believe. I enjoy my process of looking for the best harmony among the absurdities.
Jo was born in Seoul, Korea, in 1987. Having an interest in learning how people acquire emotion and their patterns of behavior, she studied Educational Psychology at Sookmyung Women’s University. Attending a women’s school also gave a great impact on her feministic perception.
Studying abnormal psychology in university, Jo has been questioning the boundaries between normal and abnormal. In her art, she likes to experiment with what we believe is normal—tradition, universal value, and rational ways of thinking.
Jo immigrated to Canada in 2015. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University. Her identity as an immigrant and an Asian female with her interracial marriage life is a major subject matter in her art.
The relationship between my identity and my new surroundings is one of the most important subject matters in my art. I aim to express my complex identity as an immigrant, a minority, and an Asian female in an interracial marriage. In a marginal position in society, I have been questioning the borders and relations of the in-between. My interest is also in the land and how we reside together on it.
My paintings are mainly inspired by my dreams and memories. In my dreams, my memories of Korea and Canada often blend together. Using my subconscious, I try to navigate the relationship between my Korean identity and Canadian surroundings. Even though dreams are illogical and nonsensical, they help me catch a glimpse of my feelings about the experiences in my new surroundings.
Automatism is the main technique that I follow. I begin painting with some images and colours without planning the whole work in advance. The next step will be accompanied with intuitive decisions. The main material that I use is acrylic and oil. Each applications project fragmented ideas. In my art, objects are depicted very abstractedly and have dreamy looks. My goal is to compose each of the elements in harmony. I believe that not knowing the outcome is key in making the process more fun and enjoyable. This positive attitude toward the uncertainty is revealed in my paintings.
B.F.A., Drawing and Painting, OCAD University, Toronto, ON, Canada
B.A., Educational Psychology, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea
B.A., English Language and Literature, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea
2022 Immersed In Bliss, The Red Head Gallery, Toronto (DUO SHOW), ON, Canada
2022 Creative Resilience / Resilient Creativity, First Canadian Place, Toronto, ON, Canada
2022 Art Comp, 100 Kellogg Lane, London, ON, Canada
2022 TOAF61: Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Toronto, ON, Canada
2022 Overzealous 2022: Perception, Art Space Connect Gallery, Toronto, ON, Canada
2021 Off the Screen 2021, Propeller Art Gallery, Toronto, ON, Canada
2021 Unsettler’s Chair, Marong197, Seoul, Korea (SOLO SHOW)
2021 Collective Experience, Propeller Art Gallery, Toronto, ON, Canada
2021 VAM43 Juried Show, Visual Arts Mississauga at Riverwood, Mississauga, ON, Canada
2021 Sanitized Activity / Emerging Artists Exhibition, Propeller Art Gallery, Toronto, ON, Canada
2020 Off the Screen 2020, Propeller Art Gallery, Toronto, ON, Canada
2020 Fresh Paint / New Construction, Art Mûr, Montreal, QC, Canada
2020 Festival of The Body, OCADU-Ada Slaight Gallery, Toronto, ON, Canada
2019 Pop Down, OCADU Exhibition, Toronto, ON, Canada
2019 Unknowable Unknowing, OCADU Exhibition, Toronto, ON, Canada
2018 Migration, OCADU Exhibition, Toronto, ON, Canada
2016 Why the @#&! Do You Paint?: Go Figure, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON, Canada
2020 Passion in Painting Award, Fred Hagan
2020 Emerging Artist Award, Drawing & Painting Class of 2020: GRADEx 105