Visiting Artist Jaye Rhee Shows Off Wide Array of Skills


Onlookers enjoyed an experience that combined the visual and aural into a cohesive art form.

September 17 marked the opening of Jaye Rhee’s exhibit at the Picker Art Gallery in Dana Arts Center. Focusing on the connection between videography, photography and musical orchestration, Rhee’s artwork is split up into multiple platforms, creating a complementary aural and visual interaction. Rhee focuses on the relationships between stillness and movement, along with silence and sound. 

Juniors Sam Kim and Colin Ren gave presentations on their favorite selections at the opening event. Each individual presented background information and personal interpretations of a piece of artwork that resonated with them. These students represented the Korean Culture Association and the Art and Art History Department, respectively. 

Rhee’s two-channel video projection entitled The Perfect Moment (2015), created specifically for the Picker Art Gallery, centered on ballet dancers. It merged the ideas of perfection and fleeting time. One video installation focuses on a retired dancer of the Merce Cunningham company. Directly opposite, on a second screen, a current company member dances gracefully inside a studio. The unique placement of media juxtaposes passion felt by dancers with physical limitations that come with age. Although separate videos and panels, the two balance and complement each other. Audience members were impressed by the exhibit. 

“My first impression of the exhibit is that everything is really tied together. There are multiple pieces for each specific work.” first-year Darian Nicholson said. 

Colgate University students took the relationship between dancing and passion one step further. Performances by Colgate’s Ballroom Dancers expounded personal interpretations of the artwork. Attendees drifted between the living dancers and Rhee’s stationary artwork, creating a sense of fluidity between art forms. 

“It was a very unique and fresh way of combining multiple art forms,” first-year Alina Sabyr said.

Rhee emphasizes the difference between reality and illusion. Her work Cherry Blossoms (2012) combines everyday materials and imagination. Presented in video format, at first glance, this piece appears to depict falling blossoms. The cherry blossoms are purposefully represented in a non-realistic fashion. In actuality, they are manipulated pieces of chewed pink bubble-gum. The gum is then photographed and arranged in a sequence to appear like petals floating gracefully to the ground. Intentionally creating a “real fake” image, she plays with the power of the brain in recognizing familiar objects. Accompanying the video, audio plays the sounds of Rhee rubbing styrofoam pieces together, further representing the strength of imagination. 

Born in South Korea, Rhee now lives in New York City. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received both her BFA and MFA. Jaye Rhee’s artwork is supported by the AHL Foundation and Susan Baik/Baik Art. Rhee, as well as representatives from the AHL Foundation were present at the opening exhibition. Filled with pride for her artwork, Rhee addressed the attendees and gallery curators with genuine gratitude and excitement. Her passion for artwork was clearly conveyed in her opening remarks as well as the artwork itself. This exhibition is on display until January 3, 2016.