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Jina Park’s works are strange scenes; where and when they happen is unknown. In the series Collector’s Room (2018), The Guardians of Cabinets (2020), The Moon Palace (2021), and Voyage into the Sun (2022), she employs egg paint (“tempera,” a technique used since the Ier century) and gradually develops a landscape where geometric figures, sculptures, animals, and plants come together almost randomly, as in a dream. 

Entities drawn from Greek and Egyptian mythology coexist with objects that could easily have been found in cabinets of curiosities or in the so-called “ancient art” galleries of Western museums. Indeed, the artist finds her subjects in history books, museums, botanical gardens and zoos, which are all institutions whose history is intrinsically linked to colonization. The very format of the works, inspired by the chaekgado (Korean cabinets of curiosities in the form of painted libraries), allows her to evoke the desires of possession and power, inherent in the formation of collections, whether individual or collective, private or public. 

The living beings and objects that populate the Korean painter’s works come from a wide variety of eras and countries, allowing the artist to question our relationship to foreign cultures. For the most part collected in violence and torn from their original context, they have become symbols of the satisfaction of individual desires and a collective need for categorization. By gathering them in timeless scenes and in spaces that are difficult to identify, Jina Park confronts us with these contradictions and creates a new collection, her own, in two dimensions, colorful and kitschy, where the hierarchy between classical art, artifacts, and living forms is no longer relevant. 

Flora Fettah

Upcoming exhibitions: 
3.Sep. Kiaf plus(artfair) – Thisweekendroom Seoul.
15.Sep Contemporary Istanbul(artfair) with Primecut