Jaena's pieces carry anywhere between 12 to 20 layers of spray paint in order to achieve a matte, velour-like texture of the objects.
Jaena Kwon (b. 1986, South Korea) lives and works in New York. She received an MFA in Painting and Printmaking at Yale University School of Art, CT and her BFA at Seoul National University, South Korea. Her works have been shown at The Painting Center, NY; Amy Simon Fine Art, CT; SongEun Art Space, Seoul; and ING Art Project; Seoul. She has received awards including 2014 Boston Young Contemporaries RGH Prize, the 2014 Carol Schlosberg Memorial Prize, and the 2008 Hwajeon Paint Award. She has recently participated in The Studios in Mass MoCA program.
"My practice is concerned with the components of painting, the construction of the painting space, and the expansion of painting through incorporating environmental conditions. I intend to create viable painting moments as a spatial experience, heightened by the bodily movement, tactile emotion, and the viewer’s subjective involvement. I experimented with formal elements such as the surface, support, color, light, texture, and how this vocabulary composes a space. Such analytical approach investigates how paintings can implicate space beyond its surface through illusory, psychological, or emotional means. In between tangible matter and intangible effect, the intention is to weave those concepts together.
Based on my background in making paper engineered models for pop-up books, my work expands on the idea of the folded paper as a medium that possesses dimensional flexibility. Layers of paper, a series of two-dimensional surfaces, can be folded and popped up into a three-dimensional form and collapsed back to its flat state. The paper’s malleability through folding and unfolding connects to the idea of the painting’s pictorial space, a perceived dimension expanding from a two-dimensional surface of a painting. To adapt this condition without relying on the rectangular canvas, paint patches and paint layers are re-elaborated into wooden shapes. By assigning each paint layer a shape and a support backing of medium density fiberboard, the space between the paint layers become visible and the structure simultaneously exposes the layers and the process of painting." - Jaena Kwon