“Inception of the Future” Archival Inkjet Print, 36″ x 24″, Ed. of 3 | Drawings of animal and human embryos over the artist’s walk performance in front of the radio antennas of the astronomical radio observatories, The Very Large Array, New Mexico.

This week we welcome January Yoon Cho, an interdisciplinary artist working with photo, video, drawing, and performance. Born in Seoul, Korea, Cho earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Parsons School of Design. In 2020, Yoon Cho incorporated the name “January” into her artistic identity.

She has exhibited at venues including the Hammond Museum and Islip Art Museum in New York,  the Ely Center of Contemporary Art in Connecticut,, the  the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art in Texas (now called Dallas Contemporary), the Centre de Cultura Contemporánia inBarcelona, and Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid.

“Fungi Field” Archival Inkjet Print, 36″ x 24″, Ed. of 3 | Drawings of fungi over the artist’s walk performance on a rock formation in Bisti Wilderness, New Mexico.

Her photo-video series titled “The Walk Project”  received a New York Foundation for the Arts fiscal sponsorship and grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Puffin Foundation. Cho was a visiting artist at the Ringling College of Art and Design, and her work is collected internationally, including at the Benetton Foundation in Italy.

In her words: 

“My work focuses on exploring the relationships between individuals and their environments through drawing, photography, and video. I am fascinated by the intricate dynamics between individuals and their surroundings. Within this realm, I delve into themes of societal conformity, feminism, and environmental consciousness. My upbringing in South Korea, coupled with exposure to an array of contrasting locales, ranging from the vibrant metropolis of New York City to the tranquil suburbs of Texas, has finely tuned my capacity to discern and capture the subtle intricacies that characterize each unique place.

“Desert Coal Power Plant” Archival Inkjet Print, 36″ x 24″, Ed. of 3 | Drawings of skeletons and a human embryo over a coal power plant in the land of Navajo Nation where some natives deliberately choose not to use electricity in order to protect the land. Photo of the artist’s walk performance near Antelope Canyon, Arizona.

“The Walk Project” explores our connection with the environment. The photo and video project showcases my walk performances in America’s diverse water and desert landscapes with overlaid drawings of various biological life forms. The walks represent our life journey on the Earth.

“Cranberry Bog” Archival Inkjet Print, 36″ x 24″, Ed. of 3 | Drawings of cranberry fruits, flowers, bees, bee hive, and pollen over the artist’s walk performance during the wet harvest. in a Cranberry Bog, Massachusetts.

The project was inspired by my own decade-long challenge to conceive a child. The road to motherhood encouraged me to reflect on how life is brought into our habitat. Years in the making, the Desert Walk Series captured about a hundred walks from Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico.

“Salt Flat and Hexagons” Archival Inkjet Print, 36″ x 24″, Ed. of 3 | Drawings of hexagons from nature – snowflakes, turtles, poppy seeds and a beehive over the artist’s walk performance on a salt flat with naturally formed hexagons in Death Valley, California.

I capture myself walking by working with an assistant who presses the shutter after I set up a precise camera composition. Drawings of plant cells, pollen, reproductive organs, embryos, and skeletons are overlaid onto the photographs and animated onto the video to create a narrative about the cycle of life and the interconnection between biological life forms and our surroundings.”

See more of Cho’s work on her website and Instagram.

Nitin is a visual designer, gallery artist, and community arts activist. Past desk-oriented posts include: PBS, Digitas, K12, Inc., Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Sesame Workshop International....

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