Jae Ko


Jae Ko

Jae Ko uses Kraft paper roll, to which she adds adhesive tape as well as other industrial papers to create her artworks. What interests her in this body of works is not the materiality of paper, rather its sculptural dimension. Ko understands paper not in terms of flatness, but as a three-dimensional medium. She amasses and transforms large quantities of paper into installations, either by bundling them tightly, stacking them up or piling them against walls, in turn producing folds, pleats, and gaps. With such interplay of line and volume, movement and solidity the series evokes, as the title indicates, forces of nature: rolling hills, ocean tides or blowing wind.


Like much of Abstract Art, Ko’s work touches our emotions through suggestion or metaphor. Systematic structures and spontaneity, control and playfulness are interlocked here. Respectful of the inherent qualities of the different papers, yet interested in their transformative potential, Ko’s Force of Nature speaks an immediate language of physicality, tactility, and materiality. Solemn and forceful –yet never forced-, simple in appearance –yet complex and laborious in execution-, the series bears witness to the organic, palpable world of which we are part, yet from which we are disconnected. They call for a return to nature touched by human hand yet unaffected by it.


Jae Ko is an artist who lives and works between Washington DC and Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. Ko’s work has been the subject of recent exhibitions including The Times Art Museum (Beijing, China), Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Phillips Collection (Washington DC), Powerlong Museum (Shanghai, China) among other museums and galleries all around the world. Her work is included in the public collections of Smithsonian Institution Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; the U.S. Embassy, Amman, Jordan; Facebook Headquarters, Washington DC; Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey; The Phillips Collection, Washington DC; and the Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington DC, as well as in numerous private collections. Jae Ko has been the recipient of several grants and awards including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant Award, the Anonymous Was A Woman grant, and the National Endowment For The Arts.


Jae Ko, JK1007 Ultramarine Blue, 2019
Jae Ko, JK2052 Black with Grey, 2019
Jae Ko, JK454 Wine Carmine with Orange, 2018
Jae Ko, JK466 Blue with Pink, 2018