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5 Fast Facts: Jiha Moon

Blog Category:  From the Collection
Abstract painting features translucent, wave-like turquoise, aquamarine, and fuchsia washes mingled with red lines and hard-edged, matte-pink sinuous shapes bounded by blue and green scales. Other details resolve into a human hand, tree-sprigged mountains, and craggy branches.

Impress your friends with five fast facts about artist Jiha Moon (b. 1973), whose work is on view in NMWA’s collection galleries.

1. Family Dynamics

Growing up as the middle child in her family, Moon had to fight for attention and concentrated on developing her painting and drawing skills to attract notice. Moon’s parents supported her growing talent and continuing artistic education.

2. Citizen of the World

Born in Daegu, South Korea, Moon earned her BFA and her first MFA in Seoul. Although she currently lives and works in Atlanta, Moon has worked and studied all over the U.S., including Washington, D.C., where she began her professional career.

Abstract painting features translucent, wave-like turquoise, aquamarine, and fuchsia washes mingled with red lines and hard-edged, matte-pink sinuous shapes bounded by blue and green scales. Other details resolve into a human hand, tree-sprigged mountains, and craggy branches.
Jiha Moon, Cascade Crinoline, 2008; Ink and acrylic on hanji paper, 41 x 59 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of the Georgia State Committee of NMWA; © Jiha Moon; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

3. Paper Preparedness

Moon often works on hanji—handmade Korean mulberry paper. She buys a year’s supply when she visits Korea. Her use of hanji is significant as one way in which she combines artistic traditions from different cultures. Cascade Crinoline (2008), an ink and acrylic work on hanji paper, references classical Asian painting and reflects her interest in animation and cartoons.

4. Mixing Medium

Before she explored abstraction at the University of Iowa, Moon’s early works focused on figures. Moon worked primarily with paint until she started incorporating more collage elements after a residency at the Fabric Workshop and Museum from 2009 to 2010, and began working with ceramics in late 2012.

A round, ceramic vessel glazed unevenly in glossy celadon has a bulging body incised with abstract shapes. Matte turquoise glaze dribbling down from the rim obscures portions of the pale green and fully coats one of two peach-shaped orbs projecting from either side of the neck.
Jiha Moon, Leia, 2013; Ceramic and glaze, 13 x 8 x 8 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of the Georgia Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts; © Jiha Moon

5. Title Matters

When Moon titles her artwork, she considers information that would help an individual examining the image. Her titles allow viewers to “get into [her] world.” Moon’s ceramic work in NMWA’s collection, titled Leia (2013), references the character of Princess Leia in Star Wars—and her iconic two-bun hairstyle.

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