Jihyun Ra

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Artist Statement

Most of my artwork subjects (and my favorite artwork subjects) are artifacts: tree trunks, rocky mountains, and elephants, all things with rough texture. So I thought I just liked texture, simple. But the more I painted, the more I recognized the meaning of what I wanted to capture in my artwork. I discovered I was painting the Earth. The Earth I think is the most essential material of my nostalgic childhood past, the present, and the future.

When I was young, the earth was my toy and the medium of my creations like dollhouses and pottery. While others saw just rocks and dirt, I saw the wonderful possibilities to explore. The earth had so much texture and endless amounts of color. I get that same childhood delight when I’m getting ready to paint, specifically when I pour and mix colors and put lace on the canvas. It is such a joyful experience even though it may look uninteresting. It gives me that warm feeling that I have added the needed bedrock for my painting.

In the present, it is the world we live in. Life can get hard and can become a real struggle, but from that emerges a kind of harmony. For the past eight years, I’ve made the US my home and have noted the wide range of lifestyles, cultures, religions, and ethnicities. It really is a multicultural country yet there exists a glimpse of harmonious balance. This harmony is not born from taking the easy path. Expressing that through painting of objects assembled with quilt-like patches of patterned fabric is also not easy and requires a lot patience and perseverance.

www.rajihyun.com

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