Before meeting with Chamblee resident and artist Jiha Moon at Mozart Bakery off of Buford Highway, I visited Atlanta Contemporary on a quiet evening to see her work on view at the 2019 Atlanta Biennial. I found the experience to be so intimately engaging and curious. Perhaps everyone should view artwork as if they were going to have a cup of coffee with the artist afterwards. I was most struck by Moon’s work Nabi Gaksi, which sounds beautiful even in translation: “Butterfly Bride.”
When on display like this, the mask acts as a mirror—not necessarily in the way that the mask might reflect the viewer, but in how the viewer reflects the mask. Because the mask appears as a work of art as much as it remains a recognizable and familiar object, viewers can approach it more empathetically, hoping to peek into a different world, or perhaps letting themselves hide for a while.