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From Books to Cascading Waterfalls: a Metamorphosis

Alexandra M. Fanelli (February 21, 2018)
Korean born, Italian based artist Jukhee Kwon, uses abandoned Italian books in innovative ways and creates visually compelling sculptures. Her works will be on display at Ierimonti Gallery until March 16th, 2018.

Even as our lives become increasingly digitalized, the beauty of the printed page continues to hold sway, yet it is often overlooked.

Korean born, Italian based Jukhee Kwon, is a rising new artist who's making a name for herself transmuting discarded books into mesmerizing sculptures, investigating the structure and meaning of such objects.

The Exhibition

The artist's first exhibition in New York, aptly titled “Metamorphosis,” opened on January 26 at Ierimonti Gallery and is on view through March 16th. The exhibition features Kwon’s latest sculptures and her most known installations, in which shredded pages break out from their book covers hung on the ceiling, recalling cascading waterfalls.

“The viewer is encouraged to wander along the paths formed around her sculptures, traveling through an experiential maze of deconstructed and reorganized meaning,” according to Christian Piscitelli, director of the gallery. As you walk through the gallery, there is also an incredible the temptation of wanting to brush your hands against the work and feel the texture of the pages.

Using a knife, the artist meticulously cuts and slices the pages entangling them back together. The backbone of the book acts like the root of a tree, from which the shreds of paper cascade downwards to the floor and once they reach the floor they form their own root-like structure on the ground.

A Book's Metamorphosis 

In her work, Kwon brings the book as an object back to life, but reinvents its purpose and gives it new existence. Kwon’s creations are simultaneously a deconstruction of an object and the recreation of its existence, a metaphor for the cyclical relationship of freedom and restraint, life and death as well as tree and book.

“Each book has its own personality, and its own story. I investigate these elements, which them become the building blocks for the final outcome; even though they are radically transformed, they are still present and relevant” Kwon stated.

In addition to Kwon’s large installations, the gallery displays several smaller works, which include a few paper compositions as well as a wonderful sculpture trilogy, made by books of the Italian legislation.

More About the Artist

Jukhee Kwon was born and raised in South Korea. After received a Bachelor's Degree in fine art from Chung-Ang University in Anseong, she completed a Master's Degree in book art from Camberwell College of Arts in London,  a program that focuses on the cultural, creative and individual functions of the book. She now lives in Rome, Italy, where she continues to draw inspiration from her everyday surroundings.

“Her career path led her here, but we chose Jukhee as she chose us, the relationship is reciprocal as we share the same vision. The exhibition, her first ever in the United States, comes at such a propitious time to introduce her brilliant works to the American audience,” said Mr. Piscitelli.

Revealing that a book’s appearance can be as diverse as its content, Kwon’s sculptures challenge the relationship between the viewer and the everyday object, capturing both the allure and vulnerability of the printed page.

“Metamorphosis,” is on view at  Ierimonti Gallery, 55 Delancey Street, until March 16, 2018. For more info >>