Jeong-Ju Jeong

Jeong-Ju Jeong(Gallery Chosun)

Jeongju Jeong is a poet of atmosphere and experience of light – confronting with moments and effects. In the juxtaposition of media, the exploration of light on a formal level and the choice of perspective, he makes the viewer aware of the full range of spatial perception and authenticity of the moment.

Jeong Jeong-Ju majored in sculpture at Hongik University, and then went to study at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Germany, where he was awarded the title Meisterschüler from Professor Hubert Kiecol in 2002. Since the late 1990s, the artist has been creating works that combine physically fixed places and light source that is in constant movement. His interest in light developed from a memory of a small room that he lived in during his early years in Germany. He felt that the bright light that entered his room and slowly crept up toward him is frightening, and the way light that originated from the sun, so distant to even fathom, moved in his small room even made him feel dizzy. Jeong took photos of light entering through the window, made drawings of them in the space, changed the shape of light, or used mirrors to bring light into the space. He also transformed the light that entered through the window into an architectural structure where his body can fit. Jeong claims that he experiences a psychological and religious healing or discovers a channel to another world or dimension in seeing the light transform into an architectural space or opening the door and stepping into the territory of light.

Since his first solo exhibition in 2000, he has held a number of solo exhibitions in Germany, Belgium, Korea, Japan, and China, and participated in various group exhibitions, including the Gwangju Biennale Special Exhibition and Leeum Artspectrum. Jeong’s works are part of the collections at the Seoul Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, Daegu Art Museum, Gwangju Museum of Art, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Jeonnam Museum of Art, ZKM in Germany, and CJ Cultural Foundation.

Jeong Jeong-Ju has been exploring the organic relationship between architectural space and light. If the interior of an architectural space in the work is a metaphor for a person’s psychology or inner side, the exterior is a story about the world surrounding the artist, such as others, society, power, and the gods.

In 27 Rooms, various buildings located in Seoul are shown in 27 spaces separated by a stainless-steel grid structure installed on a monitor screen.

Lobby is a work that combines an architectural model made of stainless-steel and a video of performers. A video that tells a story about a person’s wounds and shows what the person does to heal those wounds is installed inside the architectural model in place of a camera. The actor in the video is a young woman who heals her wound by hiding her face in her hair. A subtle combination of visual and psychological elements is created through the contrast between the lobby building, through which the inside is clearly visible, and the actor who hides away into herself.
Jeong has been constantly observing changing light and attempting to record and structuralize that light. The contrast between the constant movement of light and the solid architectural structure of material feels like the physical form of anxiety caused by the outside elements – space, other people, light, air, city and atmosphere – experienced through the sense of the body.

Metaphysical Star, an abstraction of the movement of light around the interior and exterior of a building, is a symbol of empty sublimity created with the artificial light and colors of LED lighting, which equates to a symbol of capitalism.

Façade 2019 is a sculptural work consisting of architectural elements such as walls, windows, and doors. Façade generally refers to a path that leads in from the outside to the inside. To the artist, it also symbolizes the path of building relationships with others. Through the building structures and light emanated in various colors, this work represents the “layers” of various relationships and emotions that form and emerge inside and outside cities.

Jeong-Ju Jeong
1970  Born in Gwangju, Korea
2012 Professor at Sungshin University, Department of Sculpture
2015 DFA, Graduate School of Kookmin University,
2002 Meisterschueler by Prof. Hubert Kiecol
2002 Diplom, Kunstakademie Duesseldorf, Germany, Department of Sculpture
1995 BFA, Hong-Ik University, Department of Sculpture
2021 Illuminate, (Gallery Chosun, Seoul, Korea)
‘Tongue of light’ (Artspace3, Seoul, Korea)
2020 ‘Illumination’ (Kunstverein Haus der Kunst Enniger, Muenster, Germany)
2019 ‘Invisible Light’ (Gallery Chosun, Seoul, Korea)
‘Radiance’ (ArtKoco, Luxembourg)
2017 ‘Scenery that occurs’ (Gallery Chosun, Seoul, Korea)
2015 ‘Invisible Light’ (CICA Museum, Gimpo, Korea)
2014 ‘Scotoma’ (Gallery Chosun, Seoul, Korea)
2012 ‘Strange Visit’ (Gallery Chosun, Seoul, Korea)
2010 ‘Illusion’ (Kim Chong Yung Museum, Seoul, Korea)
‘City of Gaze’ (Gallery Chosun, Seoul, Korea)
2008 ‘City of Gaze’ (Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China)
2007 ‘InsideOut’ (Alternative space Pool, Seoul, Korea)
‘City of Gaze’ (Plus Galery, Nagoya, Japan)
2005 ‘Strange Visit’ (Project Space Zip, Seoul, Korea)
‘Bodyscape’ (Gallery Shinsegae, Gwangju, Korea)
2003 ‘Inner Brain’ (Gallery Brain factory, Seoul, Korea)
‘Schauhaus’ (Gallery Sagan, Seoul, Korea)
2002 ‘Turnhalle’ (Kunstraum Bruessel, Brussels, Belgium)
2000 ‘Schauhaus’ (Mehrwet e.V, Aachen, Germany)
2021 When the light comes out of the sun(Jeonnam Museum of Art, Jeonnam, Korea)
Everywhere and Nowhere : The Virtuality and Transcendence of the Digital Body(Muan SeungwooOh Museum of Art, Muan, Korea)
Manufold: Manual (Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea)
KIAF ART SEOUL 2021(COEX Convention & Exhibition Center – COEX, Seoul, Korea)
‘Between the Seen and the Spoken’ (Former Armed Forces Gwangju Hospital, Gwangju, Korea)
‘Live on Mars’ (Dongtan Art space, Hwaseong, Korea)
2020 ‘To Reach a Star’ (Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, Korea)
‘White Night Dark Day’ (Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan, Korea)
‘2020 Artiance Daejeon’ (Daejeon Art house, Daejeon, Korea)
‘2020 Gwangju Media art Festival’ (Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, Korea)
2019 ‘Circulation Metaphor’ (Korea Culture Center UK, London, UK)
‘Light on the Move’ (Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, Korea)
‘Phantom City’ (Sehwa Museum, Seoul, Korea)
‘The third image’ (Kim Chong Yung Museum, Seoul, Korea)
‘Sky, Earth, Human’ (Haeden Museum of Art, Incheon, Korea)
2018 ‘Millennial Heaven Millennial Earth’ (Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, Korea)
2018 ‘Phase of Light’ (Art center White block, Paju, Koera)
‘Post88’ (Seoul Olympic Musem of Art, Seoul, Koera)
2017 ‘Between Dreams and Truth’ (Gwangju Museum of Art, G&J Gallery, Seoul)
‘Vision & Perspective’ (Busan Museum of Art, Busan, Korea)
‘Dream on the Ground’ (Space of Art SUENO, Seoul)
‘International Contemporary Art Project Ulsan’ (Taehwa Seowon, Ulsan, Korea)
‘The Future is Now’ (La Friche belle de mai, Marseille, France)
‘Acts Festival’ (Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, Korea)
‘Visible Air’ (Kyeong Hee University Museum of Art, Seoul)
‘Sculptor Kim Chong Yung and his era’ (Kim Chong Yung Museum, Seoul)
‘Transparent Passage’ (Nook Gallery, Seoul)
‘New Media Art 2015: Across Voices-속삭임’ (CICA Museum, Gimpo, Korea)
‘Ode to Youth’ (Hongik Museum of Art, Seoul)
‘Confessions of a Mask’ (Museum of Art Seoul National University, Seoul)
‘Vision’s Voyage (Palais de Seoul, Seoul)
‘Breathing Light’ (Gallery Shinsegae, Gwangju, Korea)
‘The Future in Now’ (MMCA, Gwacheon, Korea)
‘Media theater 2013’ (Gallery Jungmiso, Seoul)
‘Media city Seoul- Spell on the City’ (상암 DMC, 서울)
‘The Magic of Light’ (Hyundai Arts Center, Ulsan, Korea)
‘Media city Seoul- Spell on the City’ (Sangam DMC, Seoul)
‘Metaphorical Space’ (Hanbit Media Gallery, Seoul)
‘Media Season in Heyri 2011’ (Art Space With Artist, Paju)
‘The Sociological Imagination of the City’ (Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, Seoul)
2010 ‘A Dialogue between Art and Design’ (Hongik Museum of Art, Seoul)
‘Yellow Gate’ (Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, Korea)
‘Digital Landscape’ (Daejeon Art Center, Daejeon, Korea)
2009 ‘Between the border’ (Gwangju Museum of Art, Korea)
‘Dissolving Views’ (Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Cheongju, Korea)
2008 ‘Meme Trackers’ (Songzuang Museum, Beijing, China))
 ‘Architectual Ceramics-OLD (Clayard Gimhae Museum, Gimhae, Korea)
2007 “Thermocline of Art – New Asian Waves’ (ZKM, karlsruhe, Germa
‘Propose7’ (Kumho Art Museum, Seoul)
‘City net Asia2007’ (Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul)
2006 ‘Artspectrum 2006’ (Samsung Art Museum LEEUM, Seoul)
‘Transpace’ (KimChongyeong Art Museum, Seoul)
‘Urban Legend: Blurring spaces’ (Ssamzie Spac
‘Light & Environment’ (Shenyang, China)
2005 ElectroScape’ (Shanghai Zendai MoMA, Shanghai, China)
‘Against Translation’ (Total Art Museum, Seoul)
‘Young Artist 2006’ (Busan Museum of Modern Art, busan, Korea)
‘Portfolio 2005’ (Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul)
‘New Scape’ (Total Art Museum, Seoul)
2004 ‘New Face 2004’ (Dukwon gallery, Seoul)
‘5th. Ssamzie open studio’ (Ssamzie studio, Seoul)
‘Jeonju International Film Festival 2004-mind (Jeongju, Korea)
‘Media Art Exhibition-Clash and Flow’ (Seodaemun Prison, Seoul)
2003 ‘Pleasure Factory’ (Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul)
‘Inchon Media Art Biennale’ (Hall of Art and Culture, Inchon, Korea)
‘Prism of Dimension’ (Gallery Sagan, Seoul)
2002 ’16th. Bergische Kunstausstellung’ (Museum Baden, Solingen, Germany)
2001 ‘Jungerwesten 2001’ (Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Germany)
2000 ‘Mandelbaums Wunderoel’ (Cologne, Berlin, Germany)
수상, 레지던시
2010 2010 Artist of Today (Kim Chong Yung Sculpture Museum, Seoul)
2009 Residence Art Space Geumcheon, Seoul
2006 Residence Goyang Art Studio, NMoCA Goyang, Korea
2004 New Face 2004 (Dukwon gallery, Seoul, Korea)
2003 Residence Ssamzie Space, Seoul
2002 16th. Bergische Kunstausstellung (Museum Baden, Solingen, Germany)
2001 Emprise Art Award 2001 (Duesseldorf, Germany)
Jungerwesten 2001 (Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Germany)
ZKM (Karlsruhe, Germany)
National Museum of contemporary Art, Art Bank (Seoul)
Seoul Museum of Art
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art
Gwangju Museum of Art

Curator : Annette Doms & Artist : JEONGJU JEONG


Sculpture is very important for me to represent the perspective of spaces. On the other hand, sculpture also offers illusions. For me, sculpture can be any medium, for example video and sculpture or illusion of media and sculpture. The point is that a sculpture offers physicality to the viewer. In the field of media it is interesting to see how the density of the media decreases over the years, how media slowly dematerialize up to an hologram. Thinking in this way, the atmosphere can also be represented in virtual space, even if it is less tangible than in comparison to sculpture.

Shaping the shadow of light

Jeongju is a sculptor and light artist. Nevertheless a classic classification of his multimedia work isn’t easy as it might be. He himself describes his works as media installations, which focus more on the installation side than the other way around.

Jeongju’s model-like, architectural works address the tense relationship between shadow and light, reality and illusion, haptic perception and immaterial space. In order to depict these ambiguous relationships, he experiments with media – always aware that the medium is the message of everything – as predicted by media theorist Marshall McLuhan half a century ago.

Focal point of his artistic interest is the quality of light and the examination of different sizes of mass caused by the sunlight, who is light years away, but shines in the smallest corners of rooms. The many drawings and photographs prove his fascination with the intangible game of light and shadow.
So do his media installations, in which the artist explores the given conditions of light perception (daytime, season, weather) and puts them in relation of audience and work; the whole oeuvre by Jeongju force us to rethink the reality of light. Because a human authentic experience of light is never the same, it varies and holds a mystery that is almost unsolvable.
Sculpture helps the artist to explore the spatial perception of light and counteract the dematerialization of the 21st century, while painting offers subjective atmosphere and the medium camera creates objectivity between human seeing and mechanical being seen.

One could also say that the art by Jeongju is all about suggestive parallel realities of light that change over time – captured in the perspective-changing space of installation, in the static image of painting and in the moving image of camera. Whereby the eye of the camera is showing how the authentic aura of each space could be experienced by certain visual conditions.

Thereby the camera as medium can be understood as a tool to investigate the relation between the physical and perceptive locations.
While the viewer of paintings is always thrown into an illusion that is created in contrast to the material properties of canvas and paint, because the physical properties of the paint do not reveal the actual atmosphere such as the point of light of a monitor.
People act as watching contributors in the artists works, but never in the subjects. In this respect, it is not surprising that his painted spaces are reminiscent of the masterpieces of an Edward Hopper in contemplation and execution.

The many levels of artistic expression and the personal experience of space that the artist subtly incorporates into each work, mean that there is no linear approach in Jeongju’s work, that the approach itself becomes the subject of his art.

All in all, the artist Jeongju is a poet of atmosphere and experience of light – confronting with moments and effects. In the juxtaposition of media, the exploration of light on a formal level and the choice of perspective, he makes the viewer aware of the full range of spatial perception and authenticity of the moment.

Annette Doms, 2022