Jinwon Chang
Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum announces exhibition by artist Jinwon Chang,
HWEH - GEEH Retuning Again

The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition HWEH – GEEH Returning Again, an installation by Jinwon Chang. The exhibition will open Friday, Jan. 29 and be on view through Saturday, May 21.

The Museum will host a reception to meet the artist and celebrate the exhibition’s opening Friday, Jan. 29 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

“We are honored to bring this important installation by renowned artist Jinwon Chang to the Great Lakes Bay Region for the enjoyment of our residents and visitors,” said Museum Director Marilyn Wheaton. "This is a remarkable artist who has created a stunning installation of large bamboo objects," she added.
The imagery for the exhibition HWEH – GEEH was inspired by three near-death experiences in Jinwon Chang’s life, each as a result of nearly drowning; at age 4 in a river, at age 10 in a swimming pool, and in high school at sea. These traumatic events were the catalyst that resulted in Jinwon creating imagery based on aquatic creatures and vessels able to survive in water. In their suspended state, as installed in the exhibition, they become for him floating self-portraits.

“This site specific installation is my attempt at capturing a spiritual odyssey in motion – a collective narrative of searching for an infinite truth in a finite world,” Jinwon said. “Hweh-Geeh is 'to return again' in Korean, as we are born we are destined to return to the source.”

For Jinwon, the act of creating his art is a meditative experience that brings him closer to his source. The gallery in which it is placed becomes a meditative space that includes the viewer on his spiritual odyssey for truth. It is here that Jinwon confronts his fear of death brought on by the trauma of drowning. Jinwon in his meditations becomes the creatures and vessels who can survive in the environment. In doing so, he overcomes death.

Jinwon makes his creatures and vessels using strips of bamboo. His hometown Kwangju, Korea is famous for its bamboo crafts and bamboo is a material he is very comfortable with. It is strong, flexible, light-weight, and natural. Many of his forms are partially covered with a paper or cotton batting soaked with glue.

Jinwon Chang was born in South Korea in 1967. He completed two M.F.A. degrees, one at Chung Ang University in Seoul, South Korea, and another at SUNY-New Paltz in New York. Since 1990, his artwork has been widely featured in more than 150 solo and group exhibitions in international and national galleries and public spaces. His work is in both public and private collections around the world, including the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Korea), Silpakorn University (Thailand) and City Hall (Kwangju, Korea).

This exhibition is made possible with the cooperation and support of the KATESHIN Gallery in New York City and the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, with additional support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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