: Jong-wan Choo
Choo’s color pencil and acrylic-base, large-scale paintings deceive the eye at first glance—they are drawn with astonishing technique that renders the images extraordinarily photorealistic. In these paintings he places bodies in provocative tableaus, and then partially disassembles the bodies in an effort to represent the inner turmoil that he imagines people hide behind façades of composure, boredom, and superficial joy. These bodies break open into a cacophony of ruffled, origami-like shapes. He claims this work reflects his view of contemporary men. He writes, “These empty and destroyed ‘shells’ represent the hypocrisy of men, whose well-kept outer appearance belie deception, corruption, pretense, and falsehood.” Born in 1975 in South Korea, Jongwan Choo received his B.A. and M.A. from Yeungnam University. Since the late 1990s Choo has had 11 solo exhibitions and participated in over 60 group exhibitions in several countries, including Korea, America, England, Germany, China, and Japan. Most notably, he was featured in Korean Eye, a major global publication that introduced key works of 33 of the most prominent, emerging, contemporary Korean artists. He has exhibited in prestigious institutions, such as Saatchi Gallery and Gwangju Museum of Art and has participated in a highly competitive residency program jointly sponsored by the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai and Daegu Art Museum.