LANGUAGE OF LIGHT
by Jin young Hwang*
Throughout Heejung Cho’s oeuvre, “recording” has been a means
of inner contemplation and outer communication. The subject of her recordings
varies from her voice in different moods, to routine transactions of everyday
life, to images from nature. Since she regards recording as not only an audible
but also a visible medium, she has invented a unique visual language as a means
of representing them.
One work in this exhibition, entitled “Unknown Language” records
a message of solace she perceived from moonlight entering her studio. To document
this message, Hee Jung Cho juxtaposed pseudo-hieroglyphics in an arbitrary and
unique arrangement. The pseudo-hieroglyphics captured under a layer of plastic
tape are reminiscent of fossils petrified with the passage of time. The material
looks transparent, but when layered, it acquires areas of translucency and opaqueness.
The layers also lend the piece a quality of solidity that capture the artist’s
fleeting feelings and experiences.
In this way, Hee Jung Cho tightly fixes the ephemeral messages which appear
to her in specific times and places and shares them with the viewers of her
Hee Jung Cho’s image-text is without legible meaning or structure. Any
attempt to decipher the text would be in vain because it was created through
images and feelings, rather than through traditional language. Hee Jung Cho’s
new form of language allows for flexible meaning and multiple interpretations.
This leads us to consider the limitations of our concepts of language.
Jin young Hwang has a Master’s degree in aesthetics from Hong-ik
University in Korea and has experience curating exhibitions and writing critical
articles in both Korea and the USA. She is a recipient of the 2002 Korean Culture
& Arts Promotion Fund. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Art History
at Rutgers University.