Choi´s installations, created mainly with taut strings that carefully unfold their shapes in galleries and museum spaces – and that involve a strict lighting control, came about because of a sincere interest in experimentation. In the beginning, the lines only answered to her desire of creating drawings that were three-dimensional, but afterward, her work gradually evolved. Because her early work was so focused on painting, it was not possible to transform all her processes overnight in order to move towards three-dimensional art, understanding the formal and conceptual complexities this implied.
So, the artist first substituted her tools: instead of colors and brushes, she began using strings of different thickness. She then began acknowledging their qualities and advantages in comparison to painting and soon noticed that this material, even though it is very warm, is also extremely delicate, regardless of the elastic component of the nylon.

The elaborate assemblies that make her impressive pieces possible are seen as a type of construction, very close to the sphere of architecture. String by string, just like the brick by brick, Choi´s installations seek to poetically withstand the forces of nature. For her, there is no difference between a string and cement. Through her ingenious constructions, she makes a very effective critique of recent architecture in general, remembering the time when more attention was paid to the relationship between building projects and their immediate surroundings whereas nowadays, the concrete is quickly poured without much thought.

With their floating strokes, the pieces raise awareness in the spectator about the impossibility of separating time and space, while at the same time transforming their perception of their own bodies as they advance and are forced to find their way between a labyrinth of shapes. There, time and movement are everything, what creates a specific memory that the spectator will have for a long time.
At least, that is the hope of the artist. For her, there is a radical difference between the temporary nature of biology and nature, which remains in spite of its changes and evolution.

Nowadays, some of the most harmful damage done to the environment comes from underground atomic tests or from gas extraction through fracking. The sum of its effects has altered the tectonic stability of the planet, putting many urban communities on the edge of a latent and incredibly dangerous risk.

Through her installation titled Seismic Memorizer (2015), Choi transmits to her audience the fear she has felt because of the sudden movements of the tectonic plates. The piece is made up of a series of wooden plates that move when someone walks on them, activating at the same time a seismic sensor. Her objective is to make the visitor aware of the increase in movement the closer he/she gets to the sensor. The visitor symbolizes the negative effects of human beings on the planet.

With her artistic proposals, Choi not only strives for her work to be completed through the arbitrary contact with the public, she also accepts the existence of different experiences that revolve around it and in fact, each person’s experience is different. In this sense, the artist perfectly understands that her work is transformed by the spectator´s perspective and movement. It is important that her installations be perceived directly. She does not intend to control the visitor´s experience; she prefers for each of us to find our own logic.

All of this is possible in the case of an installation specifically designed for MARCO titled Flowing Landscape (2017), where each participant has the opportunity of going inside its meandering shapes without any pre-established rules.

Created entirely with the technique of knitting, the installation titled V (2012) confronts the public with a series of vertical and horizontal lines that needs to be seen from a certain angle in order to reveal its secret. The letter V is subtly drawn in order to evoke common practices in the Asian continent, which range from the superficiality of making the “victory” sign with the pointer and middle fingers in practically every selfie to making reference to an ideal of facial beauty inspired by the manga drawings that impose these stereotypes. The shape that is socially perceived as beautiful will then consist of a group of practically unreal characteristics that stray from the normal silhouette of a human face to end up resembling a letter “V”: faces without any curvature of the cheeks, drawn with very soft lines and finished off with pointed chins.

Choi´s critical view is connected to perspective. In the case of this project, it is obvious that we are not able to notice, from specific angles, if a face or body has had work done; but when looking at it from another point of view, something strange can be noticed, which does not coincide with reality and which can even be considered grotesque.

Titled Birdcage (2017), this installation takes us back to the notion of habitable architecture, but with the focus on recreating an environment of confinement. With her house/cage, Choi invites the spectators to experience the feeling of finding themselves in a small and suffocating space. To complete the effect, this house allows us to see in between its slits, only partially covering what is happening on both sides, so that the people inside can see those who remain outside and vice versa.

Extreme loneliness and impersonal communications of contemporary life find their metaphorical version in this piece. Choi´s fragile construction of strings is a type of perversion of space, of society and of communication. The metaphor of the cage, more than reminding us of the cruelty of capturing a bird for our viewing pleasure, mocks human beings that shut themselves away from everyone else. It is a metaphor of our reality.

© MUSEO DE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO DE MONTERREY, 2016 | Zuazua y Jardón S/N, Centro. Monterrey, N.L. Mexico, 64000 | Ph. +52 (81) 8262.4500

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