About

 

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Jung Hee Choi, artist/musician, works in video, performance, sound and multi-media installations. Choi’s work has been presented in the U.S., Europe and Asia, including FRAC Franche-Comté, France; Berliner Festspiele, Germany; Dia Art Foundation, Guggenheim Museum and MELA Foundation Dream Houses, NYC; FRESH Festival, Bangkok; Korea Experimental Arts Festival, Korea. Commissioned by MELA Foundation, her video sound performance and installation, RICE, was chosen as one of The 10 Best of 2003 in the December Artforum. Choi, disciple of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in the classical Kirana vocal tradition, founded with them The Just Alap Raga Ensemble in 2002 and has performed as vocalist in every concert, including those at the MELA Dream House, the five-concert Pandit Pran Nath Memorial Tribute Tour in Berlin, Karlsruhe and Polling, Germany in 2012, the Yoko Ono Courage Award ceremony, the Guggenheim Third Mind Live concert series and the Merce Cunningham Memorial celebration in 2009. Her work is in the collection of Frac Franche-Comté, France and Dia Art Foundation, NYC. Choi graduated BA summa cum laude, and received her MA in art and sound from NYU.

Choi has presented series of environmental compositions with video, evolving light-point patterns, drawing, incense, performance and sound involving the concept of “Manifest, Unmanifest”. Her synthesis of expression in this series collectively creates an intersubjective space as a unified continuum and emphasizes the totality of sense perceptions as a single unit to create a state of immersion. Choi’s in-depth interview is featured in the online Asian Contemporary Art Week presentations organized by Asia Society, NY. Since 2008 Choi has been teaching Raga as instructor at the Kirana Center for Indian Classical Music. Choi appeared as guest artist and lecturer at the School of Visual Art, NYC and École supérieure d’art de Mulhouse, France. Choi’s essay, SOUND: A Basis for Universal Structure in Ancient and Modern Cosmology, was published in a festschrift for Antonio T. de Nicolas: Poet of Eternal Return.

In 2015, the Dia Art Foundation acquired a unique version of the La Monte Young Marian Zazeela Jung Hee Choi Dia 15 VI 13 545 West 22 Street Dream House, which open to the general public from June 13, 2015 to October 24, 2015. In this installation, Young and Choi presented for the first time their sound environments in simultaneity.

On August 28, 2015, The New York Times wrote about Choi’s multimedia installation Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest IX at Dia 15 VI 13 545 West 22 Street Dream House, NYC, ” A movie-screen-size black surface is perforated by tiny holes through which bright light passes, creating a roughly symmetrical, Rorschach-like image resembling swirling galactic gas. This is overlaid by slowly changing, soft-focused shapes in colors from toasty brown to luminous blues that mask and reshape parts of the basic starry image. … ‘Tonecycle Base 30 Hz, 2:3:7 Sine Wave Version…’ With extended listening, what at first seemed mechanically repetitious turns out to be a complex interweaving of different, slowly oscillating pitches. If you give in to it while watching Ms. Choi’s hallucinatory screen, you may find yourself in an altered state of consciousness, on the verge of some ineffable, transcendental revelation.”

Art in American reviewed the exceptional collaboration, “The most significant difference at Dia is the addition of two works by Jung Hee Choi, a longtime collaborator and disciple. Environmental Composition 2015 #1 is a monumental ‘light point drawing’ and video projection, constructed from thin, black metallic sheets pierced with needles and lit from behind. At 14 feet tall and 23 feet wide, it is a brooding presence in the space. An accompanying audio piece, Tonecycle Base 30 HZ, 2:3:7 (2012), is a cyclic rotation of 77 sine wave frequencies. It moves so slowly that it can be heard only retroactively, lingering as a sonic afterimage that, with its portamenti, invigorates Young’s constant tones.” (September 2015)

Choi was founding producer and director for Mantra TV, a cable and webcast vehicle for advanced arts in New York City and Korea from 1998 to 2006. Her programs featured original works of art, music, dance, experimental film, and discussions of creative processes. Choi curated BITT Festival for the Arts 2010; film/video programs for the Korea Experimental Arts Festival, 2010; Syn‑Aesthetics, the Media Mavericks 1st Experimental Film Festival 2006. She co-curated Thinking MEDIA III, Seoul, Korea, 2012 and KU Exhibition of International Professors 2007, 2008, 2009, Seoul, Korea. Choi received The Experimental Television Center’s Finishing Funds 2006 award, supported by the Electronic Media and Film Program at NYSCA. In 2015, she received a project grants award from New Music USA.

Choi presented RICE, a video sound performance and installation in a setting of Marian Zazeela’s Imagic Lightenvironment in the MELA Dream House, NYC, in May–June 2003, and in October–November 2005 as a part of the La Monte Young 70th birthday celebration.  The 2003 presentation was chosen as one of The 10 Best of 2003 in the December Artforum.  Chrissie Iles wrote, “This video-sound work was presented in May at Dream House, the permanent installation of La Monte Young’s eternal music and Marian Zazeela’s magenta lights, and one of Dia founder Heiner Friedrich’s great legacies.  A hypnotic projection of rotating mandalic forms radiated out from Zazeela’s magenta color field like silent fireworks, while the sound of Choi tracing a circle around the top of an overturned cooking pot with a rice paddle created a single repeating tone that resonated deep in the solar plexus.”  On March 28, 2009, Choi presented a live video sound performance and installation of RICE with Composition in the style of La Monte Young’s 1960 sustained friction sounds in a setting of Marian Zazeela Imagic Light II in the Dream House at the Guggenheim Museum as part of The Third Mind Live series.

Choi’s 3-week solo drawings, video, sound installation, Ahata Anahata, The manifest The unmanifest, As a wheel that is one-rimmed and threefold with one-hundred and one spokes and where the illusion of the one springs from the other two, was presented in April, 2007 at Tompkins Square Gallery, NYC. In a further expansion of the concept of Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest, Choi’s solo exhibition, Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest II, presented at MELA Dream House in September 2009, included multimedia installations, a series of drawings, videos and a sound environment, illuminating various aspects of Choi’s works and their relationships across different media.

MELA Foundation presented Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest III from August 21 to September 11, 2010, featuring three large-scale multimedia installations, a series of drawings, videos and her new sound environment, Tonecycle Base 65 Hz, 2:3:7 Vocal Version, with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Jung Hee Choi improvising over the implied tonic. This exhibition premiered the installation work Composition 2010 #1 created with needle perforated point drawings on black wrap with video. The drawings are viewed as indiscernibly moving light from video projection glowing through the pinholes, creating abstract and analogous representations of Manifest Unmanifest.

From August 25 to September 17, 2011, MELA presented Choi’s Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest IV featuring her largest installation of calligraphic needle holes of moving light displayed in a wall of four floor-to-ceiling scrolls, her new Environmental Composition 2011 #1, and the world premiere of two live concerts of Tonecycle Base 65 Hz, 2:3:7 Vocal Version with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Jung Hee Choi improvising over the imperceptibly changing implied tonic in a paired setting with Choi’s acclaimed video feedback mandalic projection RICE.

Choi’s Manifest Unmanifest V was presented by le Frac Franche-Comté, l’ERBA de Besançon, le Centre d’art mobile and SONIC/Le Quai, ESA de Mulhouse in ERBA de Besançon, France from December, 2011 through January, 2012. Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest V featured two large-scale multimedia installations, videos and her sound environment, Tonecycle Base 65 Hz, 2:3:7 Vocal Version with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in New York City and Jung Hee Choi in Besançon improvising live across the Atlantic for the opening reception. The relationship of the improvisations to the drone continuously elaborates the musical meaning of the pitch. This exhibition presented RICE and her more recent installation work Composition 2011 #2 created with Light Point Drawings on black wrap with video. Part of this exhibition, Environmental Composition 2011#2, has been selected by the committee for acquisition of FRAC Franche-Comté for the museum collection, and exhibited at FRAC Franche-Comté through August 25, 2013.

In Berlin during the Pandit Pran Nath Memorial Tribute Tour 2012, Choi presented a large-scale version of Tonecycle Base 60 Hz, 2:3:7 Vocal Version with Light Point Drawings # 3 and #4 from Environmental Composition 2011 #2 on the entire ground floor of Villa Elisabeth from March 19 – 31, 2012 as part of the MaerzMusik Festival of the Berliner Festspiele.  This 60 Hz version of Tonecycle allowed a harmonious interrelationship of the pitches to the pitches of the Young Zazeela Dream House taking place upstairs.

In 2012, MELA presented Choi’s Ahata Anahata VI, featuring four Light Point Drawings set in her new sound environment Tonecycle Base 30 Hz, 2:3:7 with two highly acclaimed concerts performed by Choi, Zazeela and Young to overflow crowds.

Choi’s video and sound works have been presented at BITT Festival 2010, Korea Experimental Arts Festival, 2009 and 2010, Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2007 and 2008, Korea; FRESH 2007 and 2009 festivals of international video art and short films, CODE, Bangkok; Diapason Sound and Intermedia Gallery, Gale Gates et al, Monkey Town, NYC; Gallery Hinterconti, Hamburg, Germany. Choi’s drawing-video-sound installations were exhibited in Asian Contemporary Art Fair, NYC, November 2008, and Art Asia Miami, December 2008. Choi’s Multimedia installation Environmental Composition 2008 #1 was featured as part of Faces & Facts: Korean Contemporary Art in New York, Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Korean Cultural Service NY, December 2009. Choi’s RICE installation was part of One and Three Quarters of an Inch curated by Peter Clough at The Former Convent at St. Cecilia’s Parish, Brooklyn, September 2010.

Choi has collaborated with Young and Zazeela to produce long-term video documentation of their lives and work, including the Dream House and affiliated events. For the La Monte Young  Marian Zazeela and The Just Alap Raga Ensemble long-term video installation of “05 II 05 PM NYC” Raga Sundara, ektal vilampit khayal set in Raga Yaman Kalyan at the Kunst im Regenbogenstadl Dream House, Polling, Germany, Choi was both video director and video mastering producer, as well as a vocalist in the Ensemble. Choi also directed the video of the March 21, 2009 Just Alap Raga Ensemble concert from the Guggenheim Dream House, featuring Young, Zazeela, Jung Hee Choi and Da’ud Constant, voices; Jon Catler, sustainer electric guitar; Charles Curtis, cello; and Naren Budhkar, tabla, which has now been installed permanently at Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, Polling, Germany from the opening of their 2009 season, replacing the video of the 2005 Raga Sundara performance.

 

Jung Hee Choi’s CV