A walkthrough with Jewyo Rhii of her installation Commonly Newcomer at the Queens Museum, followed by an informal dialogue between the artist and participants facilitated by curator Hitomi Iwasaki.
Since the early 1990s, Jewyo Rhii has worked in sculptural installation, video, drawing, performance, and publications. Constantly displacing herself from her native Seoul, Korea, to study and work in Western Europe and the US, Rhii has come to embrace this fluid lifestyle as an integral part of her work, in such a way that her studios have functioned as exhibition spaces, and exhibition spaces as studios. Having occupied a studio space at the Queens Museum since November 2013, Rhii developed Commonly Newcomer, a sprawling sculptural installation that explores the intuitive and experiential aspects of being a newcomer. It is also an extension of a collaborative publication titled Outside the Comfort Zone (2013) by Irene Veenstra, a Dutch art historian who visited Rhii’s 2013 exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands, for nine consecutive days. In Commonly Newcomer, Rhii experiments with re-materializing a textual incarnation of her previous work, while adopting and adapting it into her present life in Queens.
Jewyo Rhii (b. 1971, Seoul) studied in Seoul, London and Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions include Jewyo Rhii at the Wilkinson Gallery, London (2014); Wall To Talk To at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Museum fur Modern Kunst, Frankfurt, and the Artsonje Center, Seoul (2011-2013, traveling); Night Studio, Itaewon, Seoul (2010); Lodged, Ursula Walbrol Gallery, Dusseldorf (2010); and Muscle Aches: Arrivals, Doosan Gallery, New York (2009). Recent group exhibitions include Boom She Boom, Museum fur Modern Kunst, Frankfurt (2014); Media City Seoul, Seoul (2010), Everyday Miracle (Extended), REDCAT, Los Angeles (2009), On The Road & Insertation, the 7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2008). In 2010 she was awarded the prestigious Yanghyun Prize.
Hitomi Iwasaki (Director of Exhibitions/Curator, Queens Museum) has been a member of the QM curatorial staff since 1996 and had opportunities to work on the museum’s milestone exhibitions including Cai Guo Qiang (1997), Out of India: Contemporary Art of the South Asian Diaspora (1998), and Global Conceptualism: Points of Origins, 1950s – 1980s (1999). She has organized a number of group exhibitions of emerging artists, 3 of the past Queens International biennial exhibits, and site-specific project exhibitions with artists including Luca Buvoli, Sun K. Kwak, Nic Hess, Christian Marclay, and Patty Chang among many others. Hitomi initiated Launch Pad, the Museum’s first artist-in-residence program with O Zhang, Johanna Unzueta, Daniel Bozhkov, Duke Riley and others. Hitomi won the International Association of Art Critic’s IACA Curator’s Award Best Project in a Public Space, 2009-2010. She was a part of the curatorial team for the multi-year three-venue exhibition of Caribbean art Caribbean: Crossroad of the Worlds (2012-13, with Studio Museum in Harlem and El Museo del Barrio) and has organized a major thematic exhibition Bringing the World into the World (2014) that features the museum’s the Panorama of the City of New York as a center piece and most recently, Commonly Newcomer: Jewyo Rhii, the artist’s first solo US museum exhibition.
This program was organized by Asia Art Archive in America in conjunction with Queens Museum.