Perspectives: Michael Joo
Inspired by the migration patterns of Korean red-crowned cranes, Brooklyn-based artist Michael Joo (b. 1966, Ithaca, NY) has created a monumental installation specifically for the Freer|Sackler. The birds’ movements are visualized as lines in space in this combination of painting, sculpture, photography, digital scanning, and printmaking, as Joo continues to blur boundaries between techniques and concepts. On view for a year in the natural light-flooded Sackler pavilion, the installation will seem to shift with the seasons, complementing Joo’s interest in materials, perception, and the nature of change. This work is part of our ongoing Perspectives series of contemporary installations.
Michael Joo is a Korean American artist with a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MFA from Yale. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Joo represented South Korea at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001 and was awarded the grand prize at the 6th Gwangju Biennale in 2006. In 2012, Joo was a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, studying 3D scanning and the relationship between art and technology.
Chinamania, the craze for Chinese blue-and-white ceramics, swept London in the nineteenth century and still endures in the West. Contemporary artist Walter McConnell, inspired by his travels in China and to the kilns at Jingdezhen, interrogates this phenomenon through his reinstallation of Kangxi porcelains similar to those originally displayed in the Peacock Room. The show also includes two monumental ceramic stupas from McConnell's A Theory of Everything series.