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Jongil Ma

March 24, 2014 - May 3, 2014

WOLF: Constructions in Wood and Mirror by Jongil Ma

Timothy Hawkesworth

Jongil Ma is intrigued by the delicate social relationships between friends and inside social groups. As an immigrant to the United States from Korea in 1996, his continued fascination with these interactions has led him to create an art practice that embraces sculpture and installation to create interactive spaces. Working in both large-scale monumental sculpture and intimate conceptual pieces, he brings sensitivity and power to his work. Because he wants to break through the confining divisions between audience and artist, he asks a wide range of participants to bring their own concerns to transform his pieces.

As he describes in his own words: “As I observe myself changing in order to better relate to the sensitivities and subtle forms of communication of this society, I return to this fascination. I desire a way to more directly contact other people’s hidden understandings. I believe that this very particular energy creates a unique aesthetic language and evolves out of a practical need. The Wolf project begins with images I find and alter to fit different situations. In this piece I have arranged a face of wolf along with a partially assembled paper cut-out target on the mirror. As the viewer’s reflection changes and is altered within this piece, I hope that they experience a moment of participation and psychological engagement.

For years, my work’s primary focus has been large-scale woven wooden sculptural installations. In these as well as in this small-scale, model-like piece, the wood strips are subject to physical pressure and stress evoking conflicting sensations. The tension of the gracefully curved lines, delicate joints, and temporal forms speak to the fragility of human relationships as well as to the balance in nature. A partially clear translucent Plexiglas covers the piece, as if to both contain and blur its edges. The experience relates to the momentary disorientation one feels on the boundary between waking life and vivid dreaming.


Case One:
Sculpture construction in bent and woven bamboo strips, covered in plexiglass
23 5/8 x 42 x 5 inches

Case Two:
Mirror and cut paper strips
27 x 50 inches

All works Courtesy of the Artist
Artist websiteOpen link in new window
Curated by Lisa A. Banner


Jongil Ma and Christopher Smith on view at the David Owsley Museum of Art. More info

Jongil Ma's work featured at Space 776 in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. More info.

Video Spotlight

The Artwork of Jongil Ma, produced by LOW-RES FILMS and Lisa Banner.

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