Jiha Moon is a Korean-American abstract painter whose work focuses mainly on questioning the idea of nationality and of fixed identities within each culture. She works mostly on paper, incorporating lots of collage, stamps, and stencils in addition to paint. Though her pieces have an unmistakable Korean influence in her strong gestures, mark-making, and much of her pop-culture imagery, she avoids these stigmas of fixed ideas about members of a particular nationality.
Though there was a bit of a slow start and a little microphone trouble, Moon’s lecture was very impressive to me. I felt that she was wordy at times, often digressing on many subjects, but she explained her work very well and appeared eerily comfortable on stage in front of all of us. I was especially taken with her pop-culture derived anecdotes about her family in Korea, the little cat/dog logo, and the unnatural blonde-haired, blue-eyed Asian women. However, I felt that she was very wordy at times in her assessment of each piece, and the question/answer time at the end of the lecture went a little long. I loved Moon’s imagery and chaotic, keep-looking-closer compositions and was pleased when she included detail shots of each piece. Her body of work was also impressive in that she is constantly working with this idea of fixed identities and cultural phenomena but each piece had its own quirky, specific thought of hers to go with it.