Ruth Bachofner Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by Gina Han. There will be a reception for the artist Saturday, June 2, 5 - 7 PM.
Educated at Claremont Graduate University in Southern California, Gina Han employs traditions of Western art in her abstract paintings and infuses them with an Asian pop sensibility. Han’s work is driven by an effort to navigate the contradictory forces entrenched in the confluence of Eastern and Western thought. “The nature of my paintings and installations,” Han states, “seemingly appear to be within the realms of abstract art, based in the western art tradition. However, the elements in these works come from a different place. Influences of East Asian pop culture of joining its dichotomized ideals of cuteness and violence, sweetness and sexiness, and other dialogues can be seen in the works.”
Han engages both physical and philosophical spaces to foster an array of dichotomies in her work. In a practice that combines studio and installation work, the artist transforms her rather elemental materials of wood and plastic, noting a collaboration with the Taoist principles of chance, instinct and nature.
Throughout the exhibition, wood panels, plexiglass, gallery walls and floors create varying contexts for brightly colored bean-like shapes. The recurring putty-like forms are placed strategically to create explorations into dichotomy and scale. Some are formed into architectonic grids while others splay freely across the floor. In each context, the shapes and medium take on a different character. Within plexiglass panels, the shapes are ordered and iconic, while on the floor, they become playful, organic systems recalling flattened amoebas or seeds. On gridded panels, their industrial plasticity becomes emphasized; and on walls, the perspective shifts to cyclonic landscapes.
As Han’s work bridges notions of ascetic and whimsical, fluid and rigid, natural and plastic, it also traverses Western and Eastern associations, both in her chosen palette and practice. Her embrace of contradictory perspectives creates the lively cadence evident in her installations, in which her personal, multi-cultural history plays a key role.