About the Artist

Ji-Wan Joo was raised in Seoul, Korea, and graduated from Ewha Woman's University with a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. in Ceramic Art.  She was a lecturer at several universities in Korea from 1996 to 2003. She came to the United States in 2004 and was Artist In Residence at VCU in Richmond, VA from 2004-2006

She has had three solo shows in Korea and the United States.  She has been awarded numerous prizes, and her work is in corporate and university collections as well as private collections and collections by her fellow artists.  Currently she lives and works in New York City.

About the Work

There’s an entrance and an exit, but it’s hard to find the way out. Labyrinths are made to lock something up inside, not made to escape. I’ve been working with “Labyrinth” as my subject matter for many years. Sometimes, I feel that I lock myself up in a Labyrinth that I make myself. I make the Labyrinth, and I cut and take to pieces the Puzzle of the Labyrinth. And then I number each piece one by one. 

People do Puzzles to pass time during long, sleepless winter nights, or to kill time while they’re sick in the Hospital. Sometimes, complex shapes take more than an entire week to put together and make whole. I make my trap myself, and lock myself in. And I add boring and strenuous effort and trials.

I think that there is no more beauty than simplicity, and the plainness of geometric shape and line as time goes by. There is more than the significance of everything in simplicity. It is a kind of purity which can’t be exactly divided. I’m fascinated with harmonies, proportions, division of line and space from simple geometric shapes in time. Pure lines and shapes give us beauty with strength and tension.

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