Yeon Choi writes of her process in these works: “I collect images from all different sources. [Real] laces, toys, dresses and other objects are scanned and repositioned on a background that was created with watercolor. All of those images are repositioned to be completed on the computer.”
Every medium has its own mythology, and mixed media have a mixed-up mythos. Yeon’s beautiful prints, with their cinematic/folktale/dreamtime titles, seem to be calling out from mythic spaces that one almost, but not quite, understands. For (as Cindy Dell Clark has shown) there are mythologies that develop—roughly, uncertainly—along with childhood development; and these must exist in uncomfortable tension with adult myths about childhood, which are themselves culturally various; and there are mythologies of gender, and of ethnicity and race—and not at all simply so: in every instance, large cultural and corporate mythologies entangle with personal frameworks of unconscious interpretation. Looking at Yeon’s works reproduced here, I’m highly conscious that there must also be a mythology of lace, and another of toys; which heightens my awareness that there must also be a mythology of digital images. How do these interact, cooperate, coalesce? Is there a root mythology in folklore that can ground all these developments? I doubt it: I suspect there is a mythology of folklore itself, and even of “myth” itself: a set of stories we’re all too ready to tell ourselves to make these fountains of revelation seem “normal” or “natural.” Meanwhile, I love the idea that Yeon speaks of watercolor as a “background,” and I wonder in how many senses this might be true. There is something both stabilizing and destabilizing about setting all this digital “repositioning” against the watercolor medium. Keats wrote his own epitaph: "Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water." There is something eerily fundamental about the intermediation of these elements—water and name, water and color—that says something about the precariousness of the work of art, and of our gaze when we look at it, when we read it. (JM)
"Lace Dreams, 2009"
"Babes in Toyland"
"Once upon a Time"
Yeon Choi received her B.F.A. and M.A. in Painting from Ewha University in Seoul, Korea, and an M.F.A. in Computer Arts from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Visual Arts department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Recipient of the Artist Fellowship from the State of Louisiana in 2003, her other awards include the Best Animation Prize from Rome International Film Festival, Atlanta, GA (2008), the Best Animation Award from Blue Plum Animation Festival, Johnson City, TN (2006), the Best Advocacy Award from San Francisco's Women's Film Festival, San Francisco, CA (2006), a Second Prize from Beecher Center Digital Animation Competition at Youngstown, Ohio (2003), and more.
Her filmography includes Confessions (1997), Media, Metaphor, Non-Locality (2001), Objects of My Obsessions (2002), The Labyrinth (2002), The Fly (2003), Sandstorm (2003), The Thief (2004), The Destroyed Room (2005), Ever After (2006), Learning to Play “How High the Moon” (2006), After Swann (2012), and Oiseaux tristes (2014). See more of her work at yeonchoi.com.