Culminating a multi-year series celebrating Texas-based contemporary Asian women artists, the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas will present JooYoung Choi: Songs of Resilience from the Tapestry of Faith. Featuring the works of a Houston-based multidisciplinary artist whose paintings, videos, sculptures, animations, music and installations merge the autobiographical with the fantastical, the exhibition will run Feb. 12-Sept. 4, 2022, at the Crow Museum, located in the Dallas Arts District at 2010 Flora St., Dallas 75201.
JooYoung Choi: Songs of Resilience from the Tapestry of Faith marks the third and final offering of the museum’s Texas Asian Women Artists series, which kicked off in January 2020 to honor the innovative work of contemporary Texas-based Asian women artists. The artists presented in this program focus on contemporary issues both in Texas and abroad, giving voice to complex, humanized stories of identity, place, tradition and modernity. Previous artists were Austin-based Chinese artist Beili Liu who presented Beili Liu: One and Another in 2020 and Dallas-based Japanese artist Kana Harada who presented Divine Spark in 2021.
“I have admired JooYoung’s career for many years and am honored to have her as our third artist in our Texas Asian Women Artist series. The depth and complexity of her work invites viewers to step into an alternate world of her own creation and, subsequently, into her own personal experiences, thoughts and emotions,” said Amy Lewis Hofland, senior director of the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas. “This opportunity to share such intimate space speaks to JooYoung’s naturally giving nature as an artist and a person.”
JooYoung Choi (pronounced JOO-Yung Chay), known as a multidisciplinary world builder, uses explosive color through a variety of mediums to document the interconnecting narratives of a highly-structured, expansive, fictional land she has devised and titled the Cosmic Womb. In creating the Cosmic Womb multiverse, Choi expresses human resiliency and the strength that can be found through the power of storytelling.
In her vibrant and imaginatively charged work, Choi explores issues of identity, belonging, trauma and resilience through the sci-fi/fantasy genre. Born in South Korea and brought to the U.S. through adoption, her inspiration comes from her own personal journey and experiences and the media of her childhood, as well as her ongoing research on identity and American media’s representation of girls, women, intersex, transgender and non-binary people of color.
In her first Dallas museum presentation, this exhibition introduces the Cosmic Womb and its various characters and narratives, exploring themes of loss, healing and growth, and forms a tapestry of belief and faith in oneself.
“In a time when many are experiencing feelings of loss, sorrow, displacement, invisibility and oppression, JooYoung Choi’s Cosmic Womb uses imagery, narrative, and sound to present a bright alternative world and an inclusive place of belonging,” says Jacqueline Chao, senior curator of Asian art at the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas. “Whether drawn from her own personal experiences, or mirroring a real-life situation, or based purely from the imagination, her work attempts to bring hope to anyone who has experienced challenging situations.”
In addition to presenting a variety of paintings and large-scale soft-sculptural works, the exhibition will also include the first museum screening of Choi’s newest film Spectra Force Vive: Infinite Pie Delivery Service, which features an ensemble cast of puppets, animated characters, human actors, and was made with contributions from actors, voice talent, artists, musicians, and puppeteers from around the world. The film introduces viewers to incredible superheroes who are impacted by an intergalactic war, and brings us along a journey as they attempt to save the interdependent web of reality by freeing all of the untold stories and silenced truths of the universe.
“Each work I create is connected to an imaginary world I call the Cosmic Womb, a fantastic realm filled with wondrous creatures, extraordinary heroes, terrible villains, epic intergalactic battles and daring adventures,” said Choi. “Although the stories are rooted in science fiction, the message behind each tale is rooted in truth. At the core of each piece is my faith and my enduring belief in an infinite force energy – a love beyond love that connects and flows through us all.”
Currently residing in Houston, Choi has a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and an MFA from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass.
Her artwork has been exhibited in such venues as Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Ark.; Akron Art Museum; The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Project Row Houses, Houston; The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Seattle; The Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, N.H. ; The National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago; The Art Museum of South East Texas, Beaumont; and Lawndale Art Center, Houston.
Choi also has received grants from Artadia, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Idea Fund, and has participated in the Lawndale Artist Residency in Houston, and the Harvester Artist Residency in Wichita, Kan.
Choi’s work has been featured by numerous media groups and publications, including the PBS Digital Studios Art Assignment, Korean Global News Network YTN, Los Angeles Times, New American Paintings, Arts+Culture magazine, Houston Chronicle, Glasstire, PaperCity Houston, Nat. Brut and the Huffington Post.
JooYoung Choi: Songs of Resilience from the Tapestry of Faith and the Texas Asian Women Artists Series is curated by Jacqueline Chao, Senior Curator of Asian Art, Crow Museum of Asian Art, and organized by the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas.
The Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas is open Tuesdays-Sundays (11 a.m.-5 p.m.). The museum is closed on Mondays. Admission is free and suggested donations are $12 for adults. For more information, please go to crowmuseum.org or call 214-979-6430.
Face coverings are required, and social distancing of at least 6 feet is in effect. Masks are available at the entrance. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the museum, and museum staff will practice heightened cleaning procedures throughout the day.
ABOUT THE CROW MUSEUM OF ASIAN ART OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT DALLAS.
Founded in 1998, the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas inspires and promotes learning and dialogue about the arts and cultures of Asia through its exhibitions, the research and preservation of its collections, artistic and educational programming, and visitor experience and engagement. The museum accomplishes this in accordance with the highest professional standards and through collaboration with diverse audiences and community partners within North Texas and throughout the world. Free and open to the public, this museum celebrates the arts and cultures of Asia – from ancient eras to contemporary times – through a variety of permanent and traveling exhibitions that showcase the arts of a multitude of countries. With an array of beautiful spaces and galleries, the museum offers a serene setting for quiet reflection in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. Learn more at crowmuseum.org.