A core member of the movement in nice painting, young artist Bouie Choi demonstrates the possibilities of pattern derivation and the role of superstition in a recent set of attractive if unengaging works on board. Influenced by the delicate line drawings of insects associated with Angela Su and the colorful patterns and borders of Au Hoi Lam, Choi unites these elements in configurations that combine the textures of drawing, painting, textile, and rubber stamps; her strongest contribution to this conversation comes in the form of geometry, organizing her compositions around the unifying principles of totems and talismans that become, graphically speaking, much more interesting than the subject matter involved. The most impressive piece, “Blessings” (2011) involves 17 distinct panels, each with a natural wood border and colored corners framing a treated central surface, all arranged in a fascinating spatial relationship that points ambiguously to a totemic or talismanic function of imagery; the images themselves, however, fail to impress. Depicted on the boards are geometric insect drawings, stickers, stamps, and scribbled text--though the placement is alluring, something fails to add up. The same could be said for “Peace on Earth” (2011), in which an eye-catching orange field frames a geometric abstraction of the basic human form literally underlined by lines of text. Ultimately, the work defeats itself in its attempt to pack in layer upon layer of meaning.
-- Robin Peckham
(All images courtesy of Grotto Fine Art and the artist.)