Es`quisse, n. [eh skees] From the French language; The first sketch of a picture or model of a statue.
Mixed media artist E.K. Jeong uses a diverse assortment of art materials and techniques to create the works included in the exhibit titled Esquisse. These works combine two-dimensional surfaces with three-dimensional elements which Jeong constructs from clay and papier-m?ch?. The three-dimensional "marks" hold traces of her touch, such as fingerprints, and are arranged on the surface to create patterns which reflect balance and harmony. The final products are profound, raw marks, an esquisse, which reflect the Minimalist style of art.
Jeong credits her experiences of growing up in Korea as well as the landscape of her new home in Oklahoma as influences for this body of work. "I consider these works as a new beginning for a more productive future as an artist and citizen of Oklahoma," says Jeong. These works thoughtfully allude to the many diverse surroundings of her life. She says the compositions experiment with negative space and form and echo the "big open space and red earth of Oklahoma." However, Jeong also says, "In a couple of pieces that have bright colors, you can see the color combinations are very Eastern. These colors remind me of a local festival I saw in Korea when I was a child with lights everywhere and colorful decorations. Those are the memories inside me and they find their way out into my art."
Jeong received her B.F.A. in Fiber Arts from Dong-A University in Busan, Korea. She says Korea was a society where she felt "there were certain restrictions for women. I moved to New York in 1993 to go to graduate school because I wanted to move myself out of that restrictive structure and develop independence. It gave me the freedom to make the art that I wanted to make." Once in the United States, Jeong studied for a B.A. in Art History and an M.F.A. in Mixed Media and Fiber Sculpture at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
After graduating, she taught art courses in New York City.
In 2005, Jeong relocated to Oklahoma where she is currently Assistant Professor of Art at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. She is also working towards her Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Jeong says she left New York in search of a new artistic climate. "I'm more interested in community-based art than in showcasing individual artists," Jeong says. This philosophy is exemplified in her current public art venture in Weatherford titled The Community Tapestry Project. The project brings community volunteers together as they unite to complete a massive tapestry using a 16' x 9' weaving loom.
Throughout her extensive education in the arts, Jeong has explored old and new media including tapestry, weaving, drawing, painting, papermaking, mixed media, and installation art. She was invited to show her work in the 4th and 5th International Fiber Art Biennales in China, held in Suzhou and Beijing in 2006 and 2008, respectively. She also won the Best of Show in Paper Work: In, On, and Of Paper IV, a juried exhibition held by the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, MO.