InJung Oh presents an ethereal world of buoyant flower forms floating in rich, splashing colors. At once both striking and subtle, her effulgent paintings draw the viewer deep into a world of vibrant color and lightness of being. But their beauty belies a deep inner structure of cerebral complexity. The prevalent flower motif took inspiration from an artistic and linguistic journey: while painting a picture that incorporated an eruptive volcanic form, her etymological interest was piqued, and she discovered the prefix “vol” expressed a wish or a will. Thus conflating “vol” with the botanic expression of “blossom”, she coined the term Volossom- an epigram of desire, achievement, and imagination through free will.
These Volossom, each of their own identity (such as Reflection, Gaze, Whisper…), transform into atmospheric fantasies. First glance, the volcanic flower forms seem devoid of human presence. Yet a penetrating study reveals the delightful insertion of the female form. The flower stems are in fact a graceful, svelte feminine leg—that of the artist herself? Ms. Oh leaves this decision up to the viewer, but certainly the essence of her artistic enterprise arises from her physical and intellectual presence. It is indeed the seen and unseen we witness –the hallmark of an artist and of this talented young painter.
Korean-born, Ms. Oh moved with her family to the United States as a teenager. Her artistic skill recognized by her high school teachers, she went on to earn a BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has shown her work throughout the world, from Turin to Taipei. This international proclivity colors and shapes her oeuvre, conjuring up possibility and an awakening of previously dormant desires. According to Ms. Oh, “We all have Volossom inside of us, it’s up to each person to express it.”
Sally Metzler, Ph.D. 2016
Director, Art Collection of the Union League Club of Chicago.