Jae Ko | Force of Nature Series “FLOW”

Presented by Heather Gaudio Fine Art

Location: Main Floor

In the Force of Nature series, dating back to 1996, Jae Ko uses kraft paper rolls and other industrial paper commonly applied for wrapping and packing. What interests her in this body of work is not the materiality of the paper but rather its sculptural dimension. By shifting from the medium’s flatness to its spatial configuration, Ko amasses and transforms large quantities of paper into installations either by bundling them tightly, stacking them up, or pilling them against the wall, which in turn produces folds, pleats, and gaps. With such an interplay of line and volume, movement and solidity, the Force of Nature series evokes— as the title indicates— forces of nature: arctic glacier, rolling hills, ocean tides, or blowing wind,.

Like much of abstract art, Ko’s work touches our emotions through suggestion or metaphor. Systematic structure and spontaneity, control and playfulness, and thinking and working processes are interlocked here. The artist’s respect for the inherent qualities of different paper is mixed with the desire to transform raw matter into works that speak an immediate language of physicality, tactility, and materiality. Solemn and forceful, yet never forced, simple in appearance, yet complicated and laborious in execution, Ko’s works bear witness to the organic, palpable world of which we are part, yet from which we are often disconnected. They call for a return to nature touched by human hand yet unaffected by it.

Vesela Sretenovic
Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art The Phillips Collection