Korean-born, New York-based artist Sook Jin Jo has created drawings, collages, photographs, installations, constructions, and public works. Her themes of destruction, reclamation, rejuvenation, and rebirth are made more significant since the materials she often chooses to use are old, abandoned, useless pieces of wood or wooden objects. She uses this wood in various drawings, collages, performance pieces, sculptures, and site-specific installations.
Her “Chairs” 2000-2009 initially exhibited at the Museum of Art of Seoul National University, consists of the haphazard placement of some 200 unmatched, broken chairs, sometimes legless, sometimes seatless. Each chair is distinctly individual and bears the damage of use accumulated over time. This installation is a reminder of various rooms, such as unused classrooms or rooms damaged by war as it addresses comfort, unease, construction, destruction, nature, and man-made objects.
Her large wall construction “Streets of India” 2007-2010 is composed of flat, vertical colored pieces of wood and metal that Jo found in the streets of India. The paint is bright and peeling while the composition is tight and formal. Crude, rough materials are placed into an elegant composition.
Jo received an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute. She has had more than 30 solo exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Asia and has been included in 100 group exhibitions in Poland, Korea, and other places. She has received various awards from foundations and art centers in Korea and has received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in New York. Her work is in permanent installations in Los Angeles, New York State, and Korea.