Over the past 25 years, Korean-born, New York-based artist Sook Jin Jo 조 숙 진 has produced drawings, collages, photographs, sculptural assemblages, performances, installations and public works that reveal abiding, interconnected thematic concerns―space and form, destruction and rebirth, material and spiritual, life and death. Jo mainly works with old, abandoned, disappearing wooden materials that people usually don‘t value; sometimes spaces that have been marginalized, finding in them a certain esthetic and transcendent quality. Fundamentally environmental and deeply personal, Jo has tried to cast awareness on this subtle shift in materials and values by questioning the virtue of evolving industrial mediums and the conventional contemporary esthetics that influence our perception of the world around us.
Jo moved to New York City in 1988 and had her first New York solo show at the O.K. Harris Works of Art (1990) and that same year appeared in the Art Today, a documentary video featuring thirteen artists, including Jenny Holzer, Ilya Kavakov, Cindy Sherman and Jennifer Bartlett. Jo has exhibited internationally since 1984, and has been the subject of 30 solo exhibitions in the United States, Europe and Asia, including Walter Gropius Master Artist Series, Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia (2011); A Mid-Career Survey of the Work of Sook Jin Jo at the Arko Art Center, Seoul (2007) and over 100 group exhibitions, including the “Lodz Biennale”, Lodz, Poland; the “Gwangju Biennale”, Gwangju, Korea; the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.; and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea, Kwacheon, Korea.
Her work is featured in the publications; Art Parks published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2013; The Martin Z. Margulies Collection: Painting and Sculpture published by the Margulies Foundation in 2008; A Sculpture Reader: Contemporary Sculpture Since 1980 published by ISC Press/ University of Washington Press in 2006; and has been published in many newspapers, magazines and books, including Art in America, Art News, Sculpture, The New York Times.
She is a recipient of the iaab residency fellowship (Christoph Merian Stifung Foundation), Basel, Switzerland; the Hachonghyun Foundation National Artist Award in Seoul, Korea; a Pollock？Krasner Foundation Grant in New York City; the Sacatar Foundation residency fellowship in Brazil; Socrates Sculpture Park artist fellowship; and a Korea Arts Foundation of America (KAFA) award in Santa Monica, California.
Her public installations include permanent installations at the public plaza entrance of the LA Metro Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles, TreeHaus in New York, NY, and the Stone Quarry Art Park in Cazenovia, NY. Her work can be found in private and public collections, including the Erie Museum of Art in Erie, Pennsylvania; the Housatonic Museum of Art in Westport, Connecticut; Arko Art Center in Seoul, Korea; Girlsclub Collection in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and the Martin Z. Margulies Collection in Miami, Florida; the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea.
Sook Jin Jo has been a lecturer or panelist at numerous universities and art organizations, including Huntington Museum of Art, West Virginia; The New School/ Parsons School of Design, New York; “Americans For the Arts” annual convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and The institute of International Education, United States Department of State, Washington D.C.
Sook Jin Jo (b. Gwangju, Korea) has received M.F.A.‘s from Hong-Ik University, Korea and from the Pratt Institute, New York.