BIO

Christina Ko is a Korean American artist living and working in Queens, NY. She received her BFA from Cornell University in 2013 and has since then shown her work in Los Angeles, CA, Washington D.C., and in around NYC. Selected exhibitions include: “Internal Arrangements”, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2020); “Downloading Place”, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY (2019); “Fever Lure”, Selenas Mountain Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2019); “Crossover: East and West”, Korean Cultural Center, Washington D.C. (2018). Her work has been featured in Gallery Gurls, the Arcade Project Zine, Hiss Magazine, The Fader magazine, The Washington Post, and Ballpit Magazine.

STATEMENT

I attempt to demarcate the visual lexicon born from the cultural inheritance of a multi-generational Asian American experience through paintings and installations. Situated within a Western context and entangled within cross-cultural histories, this lexicon becomes an amalgam of “cute culture”, anime, imported cultural artifacts, domestic goods, food, fashion and pop culture. Using vernacular specifically drawing from a Korean American perspective, I aim to uncover shared visual connections within the broader Asian American experience and complicate the Western bias that can appropriate, erase, and fetishize.

Specifically, I examine memories, social media, and historical references for objects and practices that denote a Korean American experience from a “mainstream” American or a non-diasporic Korean one. I rearrange and reimagine animated characters, emoticons, cultural products, language fragments and everyday objects, activating the home and the community as rich reference sites. Oscillating between object and image and then filtered through the familiar language of cuteness, the work takes on the forms of this uncovered language that now takes center stage. Carried within this work is a pursuit for belonging and an audacious claim for this living language, which is rich, beautiful and complex.