Seungean Cha at 021gallery

Seungean Cha Solo Exhibition_Material Draft From News to Poetry_Installation View

Feature image: Seungean Cha Solo Exhibition <Material Draft From News to Poetry > Installation View 

Seungean Cha's "Material Draft: From News to Poetry" at 021gallery

021gallery is pleased to present Seungean Cha’s <Material Draft: From News to Poetry> exhibition, on view from April 23 to June 19, 2024. This is Seungean Cha’s second solo exhibition with 021gallery, following her exhibition <Wall Hangings (2019)>.

Seungean Cha Solo Exhibition 021gallery front view
Seungean Cha Solo Exhibition 021gallery front view

Seungean Cha has been revisiting the legacy of the 20th-century art scene for the past 15 years and producing loom-woven canvas to capture and reconstruct the subtle gaps between past and present, material and illusion, traditional craft, and modern art. Recently, along with the reification process of weaving and canvas mounting, Cha has evoked the production process of weaving industry through coding drafts and has been focusing on the non-visible conceptualization, where the use of technological media reveals contemporary requests and institutional situations. Seungean Cha has been invited to the Josef Albers and Anni AlbersFoundation&#39;s research residency on abstract painting and weaving in the United States and participated in the <Spinning East AsiaSeries> exhibition at the Center for Heritage Arts and Textile in Hong Kong. Cha has also participated in group exhibitions at major institutions such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul Museum of Art, and Seoul Museum of Craft Art. Lately, she participated in the exhibition <Eternal Rumors> for the 'VOGUE LEADERS: 2024 WOMAN NOW&' campaign.

At a glance, Cha's work seems like a flat painting. However, upon a closer look, one can find that they are composed of entirely hand-woven textiles. The result, which is an elaborate weave of weft and warp threads through a long labor work, not only makes us confront the canvas as a literal object but also throws a question towards abstract art. Her ongoing Twill Stain series references the spontaneity of stains - sprinkling, drawing, painting, and smearing - in abstract painting and mythology to create stains with dye, then weaving them with tapestry techniques to create a vision of painting. Such works are symmetrical cohesion based on the essence of fiber which acts as a bridge that leads to the point of past and present.

Already Done for Me
Donkey and Jarr digital print on paper
Late Summer
One Thing draft

This solo exhibition, <Material Draft: From News to Poetry> focuses on the material world, that is the essences of fiber and explores the situation in which the weaving draft, the design before the fiber is woven, becomes materialized when the material of thread and the method of weaving meet. Seungean Cha’s Weaving draft is a process of overlapping that recognizes the essence of universal truths by delving into various mystical experiences and questions about the source and purpose of human life. It is also adraft that brings together the material and the method of making work, the soul and the heart. The relationship between the draft and the material becomes a way of living life, and the text through time becomes reality. In addition, Cha’s work is more than awork of art, it is a journey to revive forgotten news and reflect on the true meaning of life. Her weaving is not a technique, but an artistic soul containing exquisite creative artisan spirit, carefully listening to women and labor, quiet voices that have been marginalized in art history of both past and present, and an ignition of not only precise images revealed under the bright light but also the hidden stories in the shadows. Cha’s weaving works like a combination of 0s and 1s, the basic units of computer programming, creating a variety of patterns. Alexander R. Galloway claimed that “Weaving has always been a digital art.” This resonates deeply with Seungean Cha's artistic perspective, and Weaving draft is more than just a blueprint but serves as a guide for her artistic creation. The process of weaving draft’s transformation from thread to fabric, fabric to image is like a self-portrait of the artist formed by weaving.

From News to Poetry- Artist's Note

“The news I heard did not come from a time when it was inundated with news. Words read on a smartphone flattens all news, regardless of its importance. This news was written thousands of years ago with hard-to-find brushes and ink on papyrus, a material made from a single layer of plants laid horizontally and vertically. And that has been passed down to the present day, where I read it on my smartphone. News from thousands of years ago is still news today because it is about freedom and liberation that individuals have to face. A closer example would be if you were under Japanese colonization 80 years ago and heard the news of liberation. The news of liberation would be received differently depending on the age, gender, and social situation. I was 8 years old when I first heard the news, and in the 40 years since then, the news of liberation has been reworked at every stage of life. Real news, which is already true, ‘declares’ because it does not need to prove itself. It meets life and is naturally proven, then becomes an ‘entity.’ I call it poetry when news written on papyrus and delivered thousands of years ago becomes tangible in my life today. Poetry is derived from the Greek word ‘poiesis,’ which means to make or provide a form, and Heidegger defines it as “the artisanal act and ability” in his <The Question Concerning Technology>. Declaration becoming an entity, news becoming poetry, is similar to the process of materializing algorithm drawings called Weaving draft, formula, draft, blueprint, map, code, etc. into textiles. The process of actualizing declaration and draft are the works of this exhibition, and conversely, unraveled poetry to infer news, and unraveled textiles to draw blueprints. By looking at the textiles thatare a material consisting of code and its beginning, the draft, I want to explore how text comes to life, how a declaration becomes apoetry, and how it is brought to life. Through a process that oscillates between handcraft and automation, draft and creation, method and material, inherent in the process of textile production, I hope to bring the flattened news back to life in the palm of your hand as papyrus made thousands of years ago from stretched plants.”

One Thing
R and L Cotton Yarn
Seungean Cha Solo Exhibition_Material Draft From News to Poetry Installation View_1
Weaving draft_Pencil Drawing on Paper _27.2x42cm (20ea)_2023
You are Beautiful, My Love_Digital Print on Paper_21x29.7cm_2023

This Seungean Cha solo exhibition <Material Draft: From News to Poetry>, presents jacquard machine and hand-woven works in which the artist sits at the furnace called the loom and materializes drawing plans by weaving threads from the depths of time and mind. The works include <Already done for me>, which is hand-weaved from a weaving draft that converted sentences, <Late summer, twill damask> and <Resurrection and Life 12x3> which are machine-weaved pieces that synthesized the designs that converted ancient sentences and patterns into codes, the <Weaving Draft Drawing> series, which looks back on the day like adiary, decides words or sentences, and converts the text into a weaving pattern, and the <One thing-4,5> installation work, in which woven fabric is fixated to a wooden frame and suspended in the air.

021gallery hopes that this exhibition bridges the gap between painting and textiles, while the encounter of the of artist's work that forge unrivaled weaving paintings and 021gallery’s space becomes as a time of an art historical response which explores the ways in which art history is connected to our understanding through the cohesion of weaving and painting.

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