Mimi O Chun: It’s all cake
New York-based artist and designer Mimi O Chun’s soft sculptures act as moments in which we are most accurately able to glimpse ourselves and the world in which we live.
Sep 4, 2021 - Jan 30, 2022
New York-based artist and designer Mimi O Chun’s soft sculptures act as moments in which we are most accurately able to glimpse ourselves and the world in which we live. Her recent work recasts or re-contextualizes existing vernacular to reveal beauty, at times irony, and ultimately truth about the cultural values we collectively adopt, perpetuate, and create. Through ironic pairings of recognizable objects, Chun humorously points out the complicity in which people engage the ridiculousness of quick culture. Chun offers the viewer these plush, attractive, humorous, and thoughtful sculptures in order to spark moments of self-examination.
Using social media and internet memes as sources for her soft sculptures, Chun is also keenly aware of art history. She explains that, “the art world is certainly no stranger to stuffed goods, even for artists whose oeuvres fall outside of the realm of textile arts. Claes Oldenburg’s early sculptures such as Giant BLT, Soft Light Switches, and Soft Toilet played with material and scale to celebrate the banal objects of our everyday lives. Mike Kelley frequently used stuffed animals and dolls found in yard sales and thrift stores to convey the pathos and nostalgia of youth, as evident in Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites—a hanging installation of soft good bundles emitting a pine-scented mist. The prolific Takashi Murakami deftly and unapologetically straddled the line between art and commerce with the creation of limited-edition plush toys produced in partnership with Louis Vuitton.” Similarly, Chun’s artwork reflects the socio-cultural conditions of our time by merging the familiar, nostalgic, and commercial.
Mimi O Chun is the second artist in the series PROJECT SPACE—an initiative presenting new work by emerging and established contemporary artists. Organized by Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Curated by assistant curator Lauren R. O’Connell.
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Mimi O Chun in the press
“New art for the new year: Metro Phoenix museums, galleries have exciting shows scheduled” on Arizona Republic, Dec. 16, 2020.