Joomi Chung 2019 All rights reserved.

"(...) The visionary impulse is also present, albeit in a different form, in the work of Joomi Chung. In her hand drawing has become a medium of dreams, and memories, of symbols and scenarios of the affective life. It has also acquired a particular capacity for drama-most especially the drama of the self in both its conscious and unconscious intercourse with the world "out there." The artist's recent work has taken the form of highly detailed ink drawings rendered on clear acetate, and presented either as freestanding or suspended scrolls. They contain a vortex of shifting, unfolding imagery that celebrates the idea of the de-centered art-object, based not so much on perspectival composition, but on the principles of heterogeneity and spread, on diffusion rather than centeredness. As abstract as drawings such as Atlas 2, 2010 (p.16), appear to be, they are meant to represent, or have come to represent for Chung, many things; individuals and groups caught up in conflicts and upheaval; social and political forces; nature that serves to remind us of how small we really are in the face of history and the planet; global economies and their relation to power and control, to the perpetual state of unrest and violence - in short, to everything brought to bear in the world today. The almost cinematic manner in which Chung's scenarios are conveyed and dismantled invites a process of free association, in which the lack of a specific focal point, and the compensatory dynamism and flow, are seen as providing and analog to the experience of modern life, particularly modern urban life. For both the artist and viewer, her drawings serve as a way of touching and dining something within and beyond oneself, a way of shaping and being shaped by the unseen social forces that surround us. (...)" - Skeptical Landscape, Trevor Richardson, Director of Herter Gallery, UMASS Amherst, MA, 2010

"(...) Absorptive mapping, on the other hand, supports a point of view that draws upon forms of visual representation derived not only from cartographical conventions, but also from personal experience, or quasi-mystical feelings aroused by a place or imaginary location. In the case of Joomi Chung, Richard Garrison, Vernon Fisher, Emily Ginsburg, Mark Lombardi and Dominic McGill, for example, there is an important sense in which the map becomes, or is, the territory. It represents for them a shaping term in their conceptualization of what is 'out there,' and of human relationships as they intertwine and interact with that, calling up patterns of awareness and forms of visual expression that serve as metaphors for human or social relationships. Their works result from a process of inquiry undertaken in a spirit of irony and skepticism that serves to remind us that the cultural codes and representational conventions used for questioning, classifying, and ordering information, including those of cartography, are primarily 'social' - not 'objective' - in character. (...)" - Sight Mapping, Trevor Richardson, Director of Herter Gallery, UMASS Amherst, MA, 2009

"(...) Joomi Chung's precise ink drawing on clear acetate, Soluble Helix, is beautifully rendered. Loosely coiled and standing on its side, the work immediately recalls ancient Asian scrolls. Here, the sheet's transparency alters our perception - the ink seems to float, a sense magnified by layers of visible through the clear background. Emerging from these overlaps are glimpses of dragons, birds and other familiar forms whose classifications remain just beyond our grad. (...)" - Stacy Goergen, Curatorial Coordinator of Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2008