Yeonhee Cheong is a South Korea-born artist with an extensive background including art, fashion, and upholstery in the U.S. Inspired by the prairie of Wisconsin, she has explored the meaning of texture by the bodies of living entities including human beings. More recently she began to focus on how to endow her subjects power and dignity in both figurative and abstract images. Currently she is working on feminist issues related to women’s bodies, while trying art practices between conventional art institute and commerce to approach the viewers and induce voluntary participation in their everyday lives. She has earned a M.F.A. degree in Design Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017. More info: www.yeonheecheong.com
What distinguishes the human being from other species is its excellent ability to imagine. As implied by the shared root between ‘image’ and ‘imagination’, visual media – especially two-dimensional surfaces – has played an important role in deploying virtual worlds. I have explored various ways to do it on surfaces for the best effect and tried to find the more accessible ways for the viewers. Inspired from Wisconsin prairie, I have studied the meaning of textures by the bodies of living entities including the human being, in the ever-changing compositions just like choreographed dances. In my works, the textures have been often in the form of visual texture and fabric and wallpaper platforms were easy choices that allow me to use the particular grammar of endless, repeated patterns that create visual textures.
My earlier works focused on representation of the pain of people, but my interest in the effectiveness of imagery for activism recently led me to search for alternative ways to depict subjects. Artists, by producing works of art, interrupt and alter the material reality according to their visions. As much as showing the painful reality, producing powerful image of subjects that I think need to be empowered more, is important to flip the political status quo. My current projects are focused on how to construct images that endow the subjects dignity and power. With a particular focus on women’s bodies, I am exploring the possibilities of visual language to build a reality that I think should be.