Jesse Chun: On Paper
16 July – 8 October, 2016



Opening reception: Saturday, July 16th, 6-8pm

For our SUMMER/16 show, SBG is excited to present On Paper, a solo exhibition of works on paper by Jesse Chun.

Chun's work explores the visual rhetoric involved in travel, migration, and immigration. Starting with a research based process, she collects various passports and immigration forms from her own archives, as well as from her friends and family. Employing the role of the artist as editor, she appropriates, redacts and recontextualizes the found documents into landscapes, abstractions, and poetry.

In Landscapes, the watermarked imagery of various passport pages are transformed through methods of rephotography and digital manipulation. In this process, the intricate backgrounds that exist to prevent identity theft and aestheticize national iconography, become large-scale foregrounds of ubiquitous and unbound nature.

Chun reconfigures various immigration documents through selective erasure of texts to create Forms. The reduction of text and form subverts the interrogative and compartmentalizing properties of such documents. The resulting Concrete Poetry also plays with the physicality of the documents, scanning their volume and revealing their layers.

In another series titled Blueprints, Chun removes all text from immigration papers sourced from various countries, leaving only the skeletal lines and grids. Printed onto translucent blueprint vellum paper and layered to create new visual arrangements, the immigration forms become outlines for new Homes.

Chun’s works, devoid of their original bureaucratic function, individual and cultural specificity, become metaphors for our collective transit. By abstracting the existing symbols and narratives of homeland, she architects new poetics of dwelling, locating and belonging.

Artist Bio

Jesse Chun (born 1984, South Korea) is a Brooklyn-based artist from Seoul, Hong Kong, New York, and Toronto. Her work is an investigation and a reimagination of the codes and constructs of belonging within the context of place, hybrid identities, and mobility. Chun's work has been exhibited at select venues in New York (Fridman Gallery, Julie Saul Gallery, the Korean Cultural Center, AIPAD at the Park Ave Armory, the New York Art Book Fair at the MoMA PS1), Seoul (CICA Museum, Incheon International Women Artists Biennale), Hong Kong (the Gallery at the Hong Kong Central Library), Istanbul (Space Debris Art), and Toronto (CONTACT). Guest lectures and artist talks include Parsons the New School for Design (Photo Dept.), the School of Visual Arts (Conference at the MFA Art Criticism & Writing Dept.), Columbia University (East Asian Studies), and New York University (Women's Social Justice Forum). Select reviews include Artforum, Wall Street Journal, Hyperallergic, Vice, The Korea Times, The South China Morning Post, and Asia Literary Review. Most recently, she was selected as an Artist-in-Residence at the Bruce High Quality Foundation's BHQFU Studio + Teaching Program, and the New York Foundation for the Arts' Immigrant Artist Program.