Junghee Judy Koo (b. 1991, South Korea) is a Korean-American artist working in and around New Jersey and New York City. She holds an M.F.A. in Fine Art from Hunter College at the City University of New York in 2020, and a B.F.A. in Visual Arts from Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University. She has shown her work at Field Projects, New York; Central Park Gallery, Los Angeles; The Cluster Gallery, Brooklyn; project spaces and University galleries. She was an artist-in-residence at the Chautauqua School of Art, and a recipient of The AHL Foundation Artist Fellowship.
My work often begins with translating impulsive thoughts through drawing then to painting. The associative thought processes involve my curiosities in small changes in paralanguage or subtle shift of glances, atmosphere, or gestures.
I use markers and pen to make a drawing that reflects my fascination with these found moments. I then select part of the image and paint them directly onto the canvas as an attempt to retain immediacy of drawing, and let the form change as I go on. I paint in multiple layers— Superimposed and peeking through and dissolving back, these layers function as a kind of network. There are different narratives emerging within the canvas, fragmented off and embedded like a palimpsest. Under my incessant re-adjustments, they accumulate and shape voluntary and involuntary memories. It is all these different layers that come in-between trying to make an image but failing that allow for something else to appear.
Through painting I seek to claim the gutter-space experience of non-location, articulating feelings that have migrated and keep on migrating. I look for the presence of something that titillates and invites curious attention but always remains partially obscure. I weave fragments of an embedded story into my painting to shape and navigate the gray area between observation and storytelling, illuminating my own experiences of identity.