Art We Heart: Eugene Choi
April 15th 2016
Anna May Kirk
The last time I saw Eugene Choi, she was horizontal, seven feet above the ground, lying on a bed of scaffolding on a basketball court.
It was night-time at FirstDraft, and the court lights were reflecting off the steel beams. Not a single ‘can rocket fuel melt steel beams’ joke was made – silent, the audience watched in meditative awe as Eugene’s 20 minute performance took place.
A recent graduate from SCA (Sydney College of the Arts), Eugene Choi is a performance based installation and sculpture artist. Her practice explores the nature of physical movement and habitual memory. She uses her body to travel between controlled and uncontrolled states of movement, these actions being familiar, yet taking place in constructed situation such as in a gallery space. Through her performances, sculptural and installation works, Eugene relays personal emotional states and explores the semiotics of intimacy.
Interested in the connection between the body and memory, Eugene has recently begun to explore how we can perceive movement within the body through using objects. These objects often consist of items of personal significance and scaffolding, which she uses as a platform for performances or to present videos and kinetic works. By demarcating her practice within the relationship between body and object, she references material and construction analogies, creating new vocabularies of movement. These analogies include the metaphor of scaffolding as a structural skeleton, strong and supporting. Yet just as bodily movements are fluid, scaffolding is malleable, readily being constructed and deconstructed into infinite formations. When performing, Eugene suspends her body onto the scaffolding frame. Clambering, climbing and reclining into its unwavering steel skeleton.
Eugene Choi may seem a familiar face. This is because she regularly performs in other artists’ and choreographers’ works, describing it as learning process, particularly in dance. As an amateur untrained dancer becoming more and more involved in choreographers’ works, she is progressing her own performative practice. Learning through doing. Eugene recently performed in works such as Temporary Title choreographed by Xavier Le Roy and Scarlet Yu at Carriageworks and Death Of Affect Restages With A Return To The Japanese Nude 2017 choreographed and performed by Atlanta Eke, Angela Goh and Eugene Choi.
You can catch Eugene Choi at one of her upcoming exhibitions, including her forthcoming solo show at ALASKA Projects [Carpark] – details below. Eugene will be exploring virtual connection, intimacy and family, physicality and touch through a 2-channel video installation.
Sadly Eugene is moving over the seas very soon as she embarks on a permanent vacation, so be sure to catch her before then! You can see more of her works and upcoming exhibition on her website.
The Bed (Small Death II), with Ezra Fieremans, 2016
galvanised steel pipe, cast steel clamps, fitted cotton sheet, blood, urn, orchids, plaster
This Moment, 2016
For Making History, a project by Brown Council. Performed at the Grantpirrie and archived as video documentation for the 20th Biennale of Sydney. Saturday 19 March—Sunday 5 June. 86 George St, Redfern. Photographs by Jessica Maurer.
Body Scaffold (Tesseract), 2015
4-channel video installation, galvanised steel pipe, cast steel clamps, plywood