“We like to abstract the body, in our own ways,” Sook Hyun Jang told me on Dec. 4 at the Fisher Gallery, where College seniors Jang and Kai Altree displayed a number of pieces on this theme in their exhibit Inside: Outside.
When I first entered the Fisher Gallery, I found it difficult to see why these two artists would ever choose to do an exhibit together. Altree paints and uses bright, bold colors in his portraits, while Jang specializes in black-and-white photography. But somehow, the works of these two artists complement each other.
As Jang explains it, “We both have really different styles when it comes to art. Kai paints, and is amazing with colors, whereas I photograph using black and white. So originally we had the idea of having our show’s theme as opposites. But then as we were working, we both realized that our main subject is body.”
One of Jang’s projects, inspired by the works of Edward Weston, was a series of small, black-and- white photos of indiscernible body parts. She wrote in her artist statement, “My goal of this project was to create small, intimate images that suggest classical sculptures by utilizing light and shadow, and landscape-like structures by using lines, shapes and forms created by the abstracted images of the body.”
Both artists focus on different portrayals of the human body and play with some of the existing beauty ideals. Although they each have very different approaches and work with different mediums, both artists’ work focuses on these themes.
“We have been planning on this art show since October, and it’s been a little stressful at times — the pressure to do well especially because it is our show and not just part of the class exhibition. But I think Kai and I pulled through really well, and we’re both really happy and proud of how our show turned out,” said Jang.