N.J. art instructor’s work goes on display today

By Samantha Adams
Staff Writer

South Korean-born artist Tai Hwa Goh will explain her three-dimensional artwork made of prints and paper at a reception at 5:30 p.m. today in Union’s art gallery in the Penick Academic Complex.

The show will remain in the art gallery until Dec. 20.

“I’m going to make an environmental display about the bodily landscape,” Goh said earlier in November in an interview from New Jersey, where she is an art instructor. “It’s a landscape, but it’s about our body.”

The installation of her prints is a significant part of the art. After creating prints through etching and woodcutting, Goh connects them with paper.

“It’s like a paper sculpture that uses a lot of wall space but sometimes it comes out of the wall and is connected from the ceiling and to the floor,” Goh said.

Goh has done this exhibition three times, but the display is always different because she alters the artwork to fit the gallery in which she is working. She does not design the installation ahead of time; before coming to Union, she had not seen its gallery.

When she was 3, Goh told her mother she wanted to be an artist. She then took art lessons until she attended the prestigious Seoul National University in Seoul. There she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting but realized she wanted to pursue a less traditional form of art.

While earning her first Master of Fine Arts at SNU and her second at the University of Maryland in College Park, Goh began to develop a style that uses paper to add a three-dimensional element to traditional art forms.

“The physical presentation of her prints has been much more about a specific installation (of the whole) rather than just the individual symbol or image,” said Haelim Allen, assistant professor of art at Union.

Goh had just arrived in the United States for the first time when she began at the University of Maryland program in 2000. She was grateful to meet Allen in the program. Allen had emigrated from South Korea with her parents and sisters in 1976.

The two artists spent time together because of their mutual affiliation with a Korean artist group in Washington, D.C., and participation in a few of the same art shows

“(The Korean group) gave me a lot of chances to show my work and also, since my first language is Korean, we could communicate well about art things,” Goh said.

Allen and Goh have not seen each other since 2004, but Allen has kept up with Goh’s work over the years.

“I can tell from digital images that her work has become more bold in terms of spatial considerations, usage of color, and her incorporation of other materials,” Allen said. “I am very excited to see the work in person.”

Showing her work in a university’s gallery is something Goh has wanted to do for a long time, she said, because she is interested in education and wants students to be able to see non-traditional art forms in their own gallery.

She said she is looking forward to explaining the thought process and methods behind the piece she created at Union.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.