MARC STRAUS is pleased to present the first one-person gallery exhibition of Jong Oh. From Korea, age 30, Jong is a recent Master’s graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York.
There is no easy description of Oh’s work and most can barely be photographed. They are so slight and even in person they require that we stop and pay close attention. And then the reward is so great. They are drawings in space from fragments of simple materials: string, a tiny brass knob, a chair leg. Yet everything here is of consequence.
Perhaps it helps to understand something of his origins. Jong was born in Mauritania at the fringes of the Sahara in a Black Arab culture which was very foreign to Koreans, and yet though he has no memories of the place he misses it in his bones. Then he moved to Grand Canaria, Spain and then Seoul and Pusan, Korea – now New York.
He is responsive to the fragility of existence and space and recognizes that even facts are fragile. As his work has matured it has required less and less as in the best poetry where concision results in the greatest weight of each syllable. In the end these art works have humility; they are inclusive and generous.
Jong Oh has been in numerous group exhibits in Korea and NY including FIRST LOOK III, at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art: 12 US grads chosen from among more than 2000 in the US.