By Petra Giffard
Malok Choi has participated in an extensive list of group and solo shows that stretch back to the late 1980s. Her artistic career is impressive and she certainly has plenty to shout about, and yet she doesn’t. Why? Because Malok Choi is a quiet and contemplative artist. The subtle and carefully considered nature of her work are alluring, and we are thrilled that she will be exhibiting at Art Vancouver 2019. We caught up with her to find out more about her artistic practice and her plans for her booth at next year’s fair.
It was a high school teacher back in Korea that first made Malok aware of her artistic talents and inspired her to study art. In 1990 Malok graduated with a degree in Visual Arts in South Korea and in 1993 she had her first solo exhibition. This was just the start of a prolific artistic career spanning almost thirty years. In that time, Malok has had a further ten solo shows and has participated in eighty group shows.
Malok’s artwork is experimental and thoughtful. During her early career she painted landscapes as a means of expressing her inner emotions. Then, from 2000 onwards she began to focus her work on storytelling; carefully constructing a narrative via different materials and processes.
One of her most powerful recurring motifs in her work is the butterfly. Malok explains: “When I first visited Vancouver, my view of the prospect of the living environment, and the cultural environment were different to where I came from. I felt I was swinging in the air on the viking boat at the PNE. I was locked in a cocoon shell and suffering, and I had been dreaming of “becoming of the butterfly” for many years. I had been avoiding my artistic influence, but the butterfly wings woke me up, slowly showing the direction to paint.” she says.
Malok recalls her participation in the Ignite Your Voice artist contest at Art Vancouver 2018 as being very exciting. It was this experience that led on to her signing up as a solo exhibitor at next year’s fair. “I’m excited [for Art! Vancouver 2019]” she says. I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of great artists and I want to see all their fantastic work.”
When asked about her plans for her booth, Malok explained “My exhibiting theme will be “Mystery of the Forest”. I’m interested in the big urban forest in Stanley Park, Vancouver, and especially “Beaver Lake”. Before I moved to Vancouver I had ignored the beauty of urban forests as they were too far away from me. However, now the forest is near me; the forest is a metaphor for my home in Vancouver. Walking and meditating around Beaver Lake is peaceful. We are so lucky to have it.”
Look out for Malok Choi at Art Vancouver 2019. Her website is also coming soon.