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Jae Ko, Untitled, 2007

PROVIDENCE, RI.- The David Winton Bell Gallery presents Cut Folded Dyed & Glued, on view through March 5, 2008. Imi Hwangbo and Jae Ko’s abstract works share an elegant simplicity and beauty. Both artists work with simple materials and employ labor-intensive methods. In this they exemplify a current movement of artists who are at ease with technology and instantaneity but seek the hand-crafted and laborious. In addition, both artists draw on their Korean heritage referencing the country's famed papercrafts and decorative arts.

Jae Ko works exclusively in paper. Experimenting with different kinds of paper (from rice paper to newspaper and register receipt paper), she has cut, buried, soaked, dyed, glued, and otherwise manipulated her material. The works presented at the Bell Gallery represent two distinct styles. The earlier works are billowy wall reliefs with subtly modulated surfaces, here in a dense black that seems to absorb all light. Working with adding-machine paper, Ko shaped and then soaked the paper in sumi ink. The swollen paper looks velvety and the powdered ink dries to a matte finish. Although Ko is inspired by nature, the evocative works draw broad allusions—to minimalist painting, Asian calligraphy, and even body parts.

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Jae Ko, Untitled, 2007