It only counts if you take a big piece

April 20 – May 25, 2019

Super Future Kid, Jennifer Lefort, Jiha Moon, Kiyoshi Kaneshiro

It only counts if you take a big piece

There is something really great about bright color. It reminds me of candy. Delicious sugary tart confections; the kind with no expiration date, each chew something decadent. Deeply ground into your molars. You just know it’s wreaking havoc in so many different ways but nothing is as satisfying as that moment. The repercussions don’t exist. After the bag is empty, the box unshakeable…then it counts. That big undeniably gargantuan ah oh. I took the first bite and the last bite, and everything in between. I get it now. It’s going to hurt. Call it my chunk of the rock. The American dream presented in high fructose corn syrup. The one I can afford. After all, it only counts if you take a big piece.

Super Future Kid likes candy a lot. She also enjoys play. “Mysteries of youth, spirituality and the occult are all themes in Super Future Kids symbology, and her comfortable spelunking of hypernatural realms is vivifying. The following transmission proves she is a friendly visitor from another dimension, hence the name. Electric pink sugar runs through her veins, and she’s often trailed by a glittery mist. During a recent touchdown in Tokyo, she spared a few milliseconds to share the secrets of her space craft. We spoke via hologram and the artist appeared as what can only be described as a sparkling beam of luminescent jellyfish light.” (Kristin Farr, Juxtapoz) Her work is infused with sweetness and light that exists in contrast to a childhood devoid of fun, growing up in East Berlin before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Artist Jiha Moon also derives a sense of frivolity and humor in her work as she redefines her Korean identity through a Southern American lens. Moon states: For this new body of work I have been focusing on a color theme around yellow. Color has always played an important role in my work symbolically, referencing racial misunderstandings, traditions and cultures. I have been obsessed about using the color “Yellow”, which can ironically be interpreted as both a racial slur and honoring beauty in different cultures. It can reference Asian people, the color of certain flowers, (chrysanthemum or marigold), gold or blonde. 

Big yellow brush strokes can remind people of “blonde beauty” from a Western perspective in women because of American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. In my new painting “Yellowave” I try to create a big wave of emotion, evoking people of my kind and yellow as powerful color.

For ceramic sculptures this idea continues: I use the color yellow for underglaze and glaze. I am referencing the banana as new iconography (it is sometimes used as a racial slur- referring to second generation Asian immigrants). I construct and deconstruct vessels that I combined with fortune cookie shapes and decorate with drawing as a storytelling element on my surfaces. I am continuously jumping back and forth between traditional and popular cultures in my explorations with ceramic sculpture.” Moon’s works are both joyous and ironic.

Jennifer Lefort states: “When I work, I often find myself looking for the coexistence and co-dependence between things: colour and pattern, structure and disorder, accidents and intuition. To me, these are all layers that can exists in a single artwork. As a group, my work in this exhibition is also a collection of these types of layers. Methods and shapes overlap in each piece, with varying significance and readings. What creates depth in a painting can be what activates the surface of the sculpture (ex. Spray paint can convey depth of space, or, bring attention to the surface of materials). Colour is a strong leader in my studio and by working in both sculpture and painting, I have become interested in how colour can delimit, yet also remove boundaries from objects and shapes – it has the ability to be a boundary bender which is, conceptually speaking, full of unbounded potential worth exploring.” Her candy-colored palettes evoke urban art meets computer technology married to cotton candy and licorice. There is a spontaneous playfulness that belies a deeper more menacing conversation- the juggling act between motherhood, being an artist and running a household.

Kiyoshi Kaneshiro’s works look like meringue cookies on acid laced with steroids. Bright pinks, bubbly reds and exploding yellows foam and drip from barely contained vessel walls. Each form has a bubblegum quality- chewy, partially inflated and gummy. The hard surface contradicts forms that appear spongy and flexible. Kaneshiro writes of his practice: I’ve been thinking a lot about latticework and similar structures in architecture. I’m always super focused in the studio I know these materials I use really closely. Despite how the work may look I’m very disciplined in process to achieve the aesthetic that the work results in.

I am always interested in structure and how the structure of an object changes can result in different opportunities for “ornament”. I think a lot about gravity as well. I always think about scale, form, and layering. Creating depth through the process of multiple layers. The work is typically dichromatic, but the colors are very vibrant. I’d like to think that the simplicity in color allows for more observations to be made in surface/texture/form. I like to deal with the material for what it is, use it in ways that make sense. I don’t like to fight the medium i try to make observations on its behavior and make decisions based on that. I try my best not to be obvious and do the stranger things that will result in something different. I have a strong craft background and I try my best not to let the rules of craft cloud how the work is made, however I think the work is a result of a balance between those rules and the ones I decide to ignore.

Each artist in this exhibition has very specific intentions with their work and the deliberateness in which they create. We look forward to sharing the experience with you.

About the Artists

Jennifer Lefort is born in Montreal and currently works in Gatineau, Quebec. Known for her unique and layered approach to abstraction, the artist was shortlisted for the prestigious Contemporary Art Prize from the Musée national des beaux arts du Québec in 2018. In 2016 she was the recipient of the Artwork of the year award by the Québec arts council. That same year the artists was an invited artist in residence in Los Angeles, awarded through the Canada Council. Previous to these distinctions, she received the national Joseph Plaskett Foundation Award.  In recent years she has exhibited work at Mindy Solomon Gallery (Miami), Division Gallery (Toronto), Parisian Laundry (Montreal), Equinox Gallery (Vancouver), Art Toronto and VOLTA in New York and Basel (Switzerland). Upcoming projects for 2019 included a public outdoor artwork project, two eight-foot sculptures commissioned for a project by curator Marie-Hélène Leblanc and several group exhibitions in Canada and the USA. Lefort’s work is included in numerous collections, most notably BMO, Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec, Bombardier, Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides, RBC Dexia Collection, Tricon and the Canadian Ministry of Global Affairs.

Super Future Kid was born in east Germany is 1981 where she spent the first 8 years of her life completely unaware of the western world. The culture shock that followed the fall of the Berlin wall left a great impression on her and played an important role in her love for bold colours, toys and everything joyful and playful.

She attended the Chelsea Collage of Art and Design and the Academy of Art Berlin Weissensee. Since her graduation in 2008, she has shown her work in several group and solo shows nationally and internationally including London, New York, Berlin and Los Angeles.

Employing bold shapes and colors her work explores a wide range of subjects that all circulate around certain ideas of childhood and youth and provides a platform which is emotionally engaging and gives the observer an opportunity to discover an alternate dreamlike reality of themselves.

Jiha Moon’s work has been exhibited in solo shows at Arario Gallery in Seoul, the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum in Nashville, Mary Ryan Gallery in New York, Saltworks in Atlanta, and Curator’s Office in Washington, D.C., among other venues. She has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now at the Asia Society, Semi Lucid at White Columns, the Art on Paper Biennial at the Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Levity at The Drawing Center, and Movers and Shakers at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. In 2011, she was the recipient of a Painters & Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

In her paintings and drawings, Atlanta-based artist Jiha Moon merges the traditional techniques and materials of her native Korea, such as handmade hanji paper, with references to global art and culture. Reflecting her personal experiences of cultural translation and assimilation, Moon creates kaleidoscopic compositions, layering disparate imagery drawn from various cultures and periods.

Kiyoshi Kaneshiro’s work embodies a curiosity with material, surface, and pottery form. He creates situations that push the limits of material knowledge and invite the viewer to investigate objects and their relationships to each other and to the field of ceramics. The language of material and process links the work through common gesture. For example, the way slip might peel away from glaze and run offers an unrestricted relationship with visceral experience. Through heat and flow he encounters questions of scale, color, and ceramic formats.