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Inah Choe

Installation View of ‘CICADA’

Obscura is delighted to present CICADA, an exhibition featuring the narrative abstract works of Inah Choe, opening on June 7, 2024.

Sundown, 193.9×130.3cm, oil and acrylic on canvas, 2022-24

Inah Choe’s work, characterized by narrative abstraction, gradually reveals images through layers of tentative painting moments. Her paintings begin with lingering echoes of both experienced and imagined narratives, navigating between figuration and abstraction. The material properties of paint and various painterly elements interact on the canvas, creating an unpredictable state of change. This exhibition offers a unique opportunity to witness her evolving and distinctive painterly language.

Wetland, 130x130cm, oil on canvas, 2024

Choe’s frequent relocations and changes during her childhood led her to embrace the notion that nothing is absolute and everything is in a state of flux. This realization profoundly influences her process and attitude toward her work. Her method is akin to an archaeologist gradually uncovering artifacts, as she slowly discovers images. Fragments of narratives are sensorially expressed through color, texture, and form, intersecting and colliding on the canvas to produce unpredictable changes. Her bold colors and brushstrokes result in a dynamic outcome rather than a static one.

Season of Cicadas, 72.7×60.6cm, oil on canvas, 2024

The cicada, which lives underground as a larva for three to seventeen years before emerging as an adult in July and August, reveals itself in its final form during these months. In June, cicadas are still in the larval stage, preparing to emerge. The word “cicada” evokes thoughts of summer and the sound of their chirping. Keywords in painting play a significant role in appreciating and sharing abstraction. In Choe’s work, these keywords serve as key points of communication, presented not only through specific shapes, colors, and touches on the canvas but also through titles referencing seasons, weather, and situations. Her painterly language invites viewers to explore and imagine the individual and multiple layers she has built, leading them to the fundamental image at the beginning.

Night Butterfly, 130x130cm, oil on canvas, 2024

The exhibition, featuring 15 new works by Inah Choe that resemble cicadas in June, will be on display until June 29. Viewing the exhibition is by reservation only.

164, Seongbuk-ro 23-gil, Seongbuk-gu, 02879, Seoul, South Korea
+82 0507-1374-0407