Younhee Paik: Ascending River
March 3 – June 14, 2012
The California premiere of this large-scale, immersive installation.
The ICA presents Ascending River, Younhee Paik’s large-scale painted canvas installation — part of a series of contemplative, restful works created as a tribute to the artist’s late mother. Although Paik has exhibited her work extensively throughout the Bay Area, this presentation marks the first time that Ascending River will be shown in California.
Paik’s dynamic, unframed paintings are hung from the ceiling like sails and laid out under a plexiglass-covered floor, enveloping the viewer in an immersive other-worldly environment. The works are complex in color and texture and filled with motifs of light that seem to radiate from the canvases. Celestial and water imagery abound, as do recurring imagery of ships and architectural drawings of cathedral floor plans. Through the use of these images, Paik makes a connection between the world of experience and the world of the unknown while challenging our conventional notions of space and time. The installation also includes a place for the viewer to lie down, relax, and listen to music with headphones.
Younhee Paik was born in Seoul, Korea and immigrated to the U.S. in 1968 after receiving her B.F.A. from Seoul National University. Paik received her M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1973 and continued to live in San Francisco for 30 years, working as an artist and raising her family. Today she travels extensively and maintains studios in New York City, San Francisco, and Seoul. Paik has exhibited her work since the mid 1970s with solo exhibits throughout the U. S. and Korea, including the Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY; LASCA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and TOTAL Museum, Seoul, Korea. Paik’s group shows include, Tiger’s Tail, 1996 Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy; Rediscovering the American Landscape, Gerald Peter Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; the Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon; and the National Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City, Mexico. Paik’s work can also be found in collections around the globe including the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea; the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; and the Korea Exchange Bank, New York, NY.
Ascending River is presented as part of the ICA’s Sandbox program that provides opportunities for artists to create ambitious large-scale installations. The Sandbox program was created in 2007 to fulfill core value of the ICA’s mission — giving emerging and mid-career artists opportunities to take risks in their artmaking and expand their creative practices. Past Sandbox projects include; Chris Dorosz, The Painted Room (2009); Christel Dillbohner, Ice Floe (2009), Modesto Covarrubias, Liminal (2010) and Mike Rathbun, Urgency (2011).