Jae Hi Ahn
A meaningless material in the process of the transmigration of souls became a curious element of my work. My re-visioning of those discarded materials could provide different value and regenerate energies in them. My inspiration comes from insignificant items that I re-define, re-purpose, and re-value. Everyday life items can remind us of history and our own personal past. For instance, memories of the past would be constructed either consciously or unconsciously by the senses in response to these objects. I re-purpose materials to reveal the spirit of the life inherent.
I try to re-identify the ephemeral by transforming it into the object for art. I use industrial and craft materials and methods, and make natural/organic forms. I create the little creatures by combining domestic materials, children’s toys, & everyday life items ; “Flour Flower” is flour paste ball covered by spices (curry, colored sugar, hot pepper, & garlic,…). This small ball’s getting mold in crystal plastic box (1x1”size). In hundreds of these small box, they are growing and getting colorful fungus flowers ; “White Fungus Series” are the palm sized rice flour sculptures. I form rice flour using hot glue with my finger and palm. By using my finger and palm, they look like some part of human body ; “Ingredients” series is the liquid container made out of spices and drinks mixed with boiled salt water. I inject the liquid into the artificial grapes. Each container gets different color by various spices (sesame oil, soy sauce, hot pepper powder, & pickle juice…) or drinks (coffee, tea, & orange juice…). I individually install them on the wall using pins. It gets dried, dripped, stinky or rusty little by little ; “Rubberworms” series are the rubber creatures. I manipulate the rubber toys for children by cutting and cleaning them first. Then, I reform them by stretching, tying, and sewing them together on the canvas. Some insect-like shapes are created by using pins & rubbers on the cut out foam board. For freer forms, I also use the wire for the structure and tie it with rubber toys. Therefore, they could re-grow and re-exist by themselves. "Sea Flowers" are the plastic sculptures that you can walk through. They create underwater plants-like environment. They are suspended from the ceiling and spinning when the viewer walk through. Color plastic elements make them reflective on the wall and floor. They are assembled of many small pieces such as plastic domes, cut out plastic sheet, artificial plants, beads, and pins.
Materials for my works are the ephemeral remains of living. These materials are revitalized through new perspectives. I wish to regenerate their values in the form of art. I hope to create the new creatures refined through the art making process.