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Elaine Ildan Choi, Here and Now

A Part of The Master's Atelier Series

The Korean Cultural Center New York sheds light on the life and art of artist Elaine Ildan Choi (b. 1936), in a special documentary and online exhibition that features not only her selected artworks, but the story of her turbulent life and fierce spirit that has remained a constant thread throughout. The video will be unveiled on March 8th, 2022 to commemorate International Women’s Day and also as a part of Asia Week New York 2022.

The mini documentary follows her life spanning more than 80 years as she navigates through the tumultuous times from the Japanese occupation of Korea, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, and as she builds her life around the world starting from Seoul, Korea to Paris, Beijing, and finally to New York.

Known master of Korean traditional ink paintings and a close mentor to Elaine Ildan Choi at Seoul National University, artist Chang Woo-Sung (pen name: Wol-Chun), compared her spirit to the passionate madness of the Qing Dynasty monk-artist, Zhudab, who had famously said “Nothing can be achieved without madness.” Choi’s life is undeniably an embodiment of “passion” itself.

In this exhibition and documentary, her long-time Manhattan apartment that acts as her studio and living space is unveiled to the public for the first time. Her living, breathing apartment is a self-portrait of Choi herself as it densely contains the layers of her nuanced and complex world and her free-spirited passion strewed across genres of painting, sculpture, textile, pottery, and installation works.

For more information and for related programs, please visit the Korean Cultural Center New York’s website, click here

Programs and Events

2022 Public Lecture Series

Wook-Kyung Choi: Abstractions, Curator Victoria Sung
Online lecture, July 6, 2022

The lecture presents a pioneering artist within Korea’s burgeoning contemporary art scene, Wook-Kyung Choi who carved out her own niche through her abstract expressionist and pop art-influenced paintings. Choi’s work stood in stark contrast to the popular movements that dominated the Korean art scene at the time, challenging established orthodoxy. Despite her early death at the age of 45, her influence and stature has continued to grow in Korea. In this lecture, Associate Curator of Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center Victoria Sung delves into Wook-Kyung Choi’s relatively short, yet illustrious career, focusing on the paintings she made while living in the US during the 1960's and 70's. This program is presented by the Korean Cultural Center New York and AHL Foundation.

Read more, click here