Artists create to find answers

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Community Art Project’s fourth annual art market event is in full swing at Flushing Town Hall Gallery with works by 55 international artists on display and available for purchase through Sunday.

Last week, a festive opening night brought a bevy of visitors who were wowed by the eye-catching selection of 200 one-of-a-kind pieces, including paintings, prints, ceramics and sculpture, jewelry and installation artworks curated by ARTichoke NY.

CAP was created to contribute to the cultural revival of art in the Queens community and to bring the arts closer to the general public.

On display you will find ceramics created by Korean-born artist Sohee Kim Conover.

She said she is interested in enhancing the natural possibilities of the ceramic medium by focusing on profound questions regarding life and death.

Conover is fascinated by the nature of life as well as the fine line between life and death.

“What makes the will to live so strong within all living beings, and how are life and death connected and are they in essence really so different?” Conover asked.

Visually her ceramic work refers to these questions through the use and abstraction of natural forms. The Farmingdale, L.I. resident most recently began refocusing on ceramics, entering into graduate studies at Long Island University. She said her new body of work “simulates the human form in various psychological states.”

After graduating from university in Korea in 1992, Conover considered coming to America to continue her fine art studies. She said the cultural limitations placed upon women in Korean culture made her wish to pursue a professional career in the arts somewhat unattainable, so in 1994 she decided to attend the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied English and learned to make her way in America.

Like all artists, she has been in a constant state of growth, struggling to develop and fine-tune her skills and ideas.

Her first solo exhibition in 2006 was comprised of a series of large-scale abstract oil paintings.

Brooklyn artist Jongil Ma’s work has been featured in numerous New York City exhibits, including Queens’ Jamaica Flux: Workspaces & Windows at Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, and at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, where he was awarded a fellowship.

In past years, Ma’s primary focus has been large-scale woven wooden sculptural installations. He said each piece constitutes a unique response to a specific space.

“These pieces take hold of a public space using pre-existing architectural and spatial dynamics and transform it with multiple viewing possibilit­ies,” he said. “The wood strips are subject to enormous physical pressure and stress, evoking conflicting sensations of excitement and trepidation. The tension of the gracefully curved lines, delicate joints, and temporal forms speaks to the fragility of human relationships, as well as to the balance in nature.”

You can see his past installation at

In his recent project, the Korean-born artist’s questions revolve around issues similar to Conover and the meaning of existence.

Some of his questions include “the origin of life, how whole beings are constructed and what forces control our most fundamental behavior, such as our will to live.”

In his two pieces, Ma starts to connect these questions to the behavior of matter on a most fundamental level, beginning with the atom.

He started to question “our ontological whole after watching the behavior of our cosmos, beginning with the birth and death of stars.

“One galaxy eats another. Similarly invisible to our naked eye, microscopic organisms are in a constant interdependent power struggle, attempting to invade and control one another, then becoming absorbed into a larger whole,” he said. “Who am I in relation to this larger incredibly complex interdependent context of the physical matter of which I am made? In this context, how do I understand anger or sadness? How can I know if what I believe to be my sentient self is controlling my behavior, or if this is actually the microscopic atoms controlling me for their own well being?”

These are only a few of the questions this work begins to explore.


CAP Community Art Project 2014

When: Through Sunday, Nov. 2

Where: Flushing Town Hall Gallery, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing


Posted 12:00 am, October 31, 2014
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