아귀 (AGWI)

Solo exhibition at Stroll Garden in Los Angeles.
1 October - 11 December 2021. 







MOUNTAINS, WATER

A part of the site-specific group exhibition ‘Built In’ curated by Erik Benjamins and Marta Gallery, on view at the Neutra VDL House in Los Angeles.
18 September - 07 November 2021

Text by Marta Gallery:
At the top of the cantilevered stairs that connect the first and second floors of the Neutra VDL House, a low bank of shallow storage cabinets separates the loosely-defined stairwell from a dining area adjacent to the kitchen just ahead. It is here, on this narrow, 108 × 11 inch laminated countertop surface that Nancy Kwon has precisely and fittingly positioned her ten-part sculpture, ‘Mountains, Water.’ The landscape-conjuring ceramic work references the earliest instance of documented landscape painting in the Korean Peninsula (408 CE, Pyeongannam-do province) and unavoidably connects with the presence of the neighboring San Gabriel mountains, viewable from the nearby north-facing kitchen windows. Two of ten sections of the work act as small-scale reflecting pools with mountainous forms protruding from their shallow depths, materially and experientially pinging off of the several water features built into the 1965 house rebuild, themselves an attempt to bring some of the feel of the nearby Silver Lake reservoir back into the immediate surrounds of the home. In concert, the sculpture’s various parts act as a kind of traditional Korean 제사 (Jesa), albeit without its ceremonial offerings of food and produce: the work is a means of memorializing and communing with the past inhabitants and guests of the house.








ANATOMICAL VOTIVES

Etruscan anatomical votives almost never depicted pathological conditions. They were likely offered in gratitude for the healing of afflictions.

I think about the votives that were made of wax, bread, fabric, that were placed into offering deposits and have since decayed, disintegrated and disappeared. The remains we have as evidence of these acts of devotion are most commonly made of clay. Offerings depicting hands, limbs, feet, eyes, ears, and an ox. Some have inscriptions and poems, communicating to their gods, speaking of farm work or caring for their livestock. The concerns and everyday lives of ordinary people who existed millenia ago still breathe through these remains and construct a cultural collective memory. My anatomical votives are speaking to them and to the future.





PILLOWS

Exhibited as a part of Stroll Garden’s 2020 opening group show.

Re-interpreting the ceramic pillows of the Goryeo Dynasty (Korea) and the Song Dynasty (China).




MOUNTAINS

Mountains hold a lot of meaning within Korean spirituality, as well as many other cultures, for obvious reasons. Mountains were believed to be a connection between our world and the heavens, because of their form reaching up to the sky. These were the initial reasons for why I felt compelled to make these works.

About 70% of the Korean peninsula is covered in mountains. The Diamond Mountains (geumgang mountains) in North Korea was a subject for many landscape painters during the 18th century, and for many of us these paintings are the only way to experience these places now. These landscape paintings carry a strong sense of longing for many Koreans who are no longer able to visit their ancestral lands. My grandparents were both from North Korea originally, and growing up they would often speak of the mountains in their villages.