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Opening Reception

Sound Words

November 16, 2018, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

A.I.R. Gallery
155 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States


A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce Sound Words, a solo exhibition of new works by Joo Yeon Woo. Through the body of work presented in the exhibition, Woo seeks to relate a sense of identity and place with her physical and psychological experiences of displacement.

Sound Words is an ink drawing series that explores the mind landscape of Woo’s personal and cultural concerns about immigration, through a visual archive of direct observations, written symbols of daily events, and everyday experiences in her immigrant life. Her latest drawings focus more on ink tonality, calligraphy, graphic line, mark-making, and Asian iconography. Woo also includes English words expressing sounds, noises, and interjections. These language expressions peaked Woo’s interest because most English interjections do not correspond to emotional codes derived from her origin. She finds that in English the sounds of words she often uses to communicate, do not arise from her intuitive feeling, rather are a prescribed learned response.

Also featured in this exhibition are Woo’s most recent series of embossed paper portraits representing Korean immigrants she has come in contact with. She uses a laser engraver to etch photographic images on Plexiglas panel, and applies extremely high pressure to obtain the low-relief portraits on paper. The embossed figures appear as silent, ghost imprints delicately emerging from the abstract white space. Her embossing works reflect the concept of the void that has been used to maximize emotional impact in Korean aesthetic tradition. Together these bodies of work represent Woo’s ongoing research on immigrant experiences.