Won Choi Sculpture

Biography

Won Choi’s life experiences have profoundly influenced her work. Born in Korea, she spent her teenage years in Turkey and traveled to many different countries in Europe and Asia. She currently resides in Philadelphia, Pa. She received her initial training in woodworking from Hong Ick University (BFA, 1970) and metal smithing from Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea (MFA, 1972). She immigrated to the United States and studied metal smithing and sculpture at Syracuse University (MFA, 1985). For this study, a (1983-1984) scholarship was awarded to her from Syracuse University. Recognition of Choi’s work began when her initial semi-abstract relief series traveled in a juried national exhibition in 1986-87 to the Mitchell Museum, Mt. Vernon, IL; Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ; and the Wichita Art Association, Wichita, KS among other places.

Upon graduation in 1985 she worked at the Johnson’s Atelier as an apprentice for a year where she met the internationally renowned modern sculptor, Isaac Witkin who was a close associate of Henry Moore. She worked for him from time to time until 1996 for his continuing commissions. His method of creating art with Styrofoam and wax inspired her to create a line of semi-abstract figurative sculptures. With those works she had her first solo show at Pindar Gallery in New York in 1988 and the following year at Gianetta Gallery in Philadelphia and a group show at Carspecken-Scott Gallery, Wilmington, DL and Zenith Gallery in Washington DC. It was during this time that art began to express Choi’s spiritual concepts. She was seeking a better understanding of the relationship between religious experience and aesthetic experience. This led Choi to attend a Doctoral Program in studio art at New York University (1990-1995), and she was awarded (1993) a scholarship from the Episcopal Diocese of Philadelphia, Pa.

In 1996 the Philadelphia Sculptors Organization was formed that had led to shows at the Janos Pannonios University Museum in Pecs, Hungry; Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, PA and Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ. Appreciation of her talent and recognition followed as she had her Solo Outdoor Sculpture Show at the James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA (2003-2004) featuring the Magic Dance of the Natural Elements. For this show she was awarded a second Window of Opportunity Grant from the Leeway Foundation. Over the following years, sculptures from this show have been shown at the Grounds for Healing at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in partnership with Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ, The Sculpture Mile at Madison, CT(2005-2010), University of South Dakoda, Vermillion, SD(2012-2015) and Tyler State Park, Richboro, Pa(2014 and ongoing). In 2010, Choi was selected for a residency at the Atelier Fourwinds in Aureille, France. Her works are in several public and private collections in New York City, West Orange, NJ, Brooklyn, NY, Syracuse, NY, Widener University in Wilmington, DL and Seoul, Korea.

Choi’s sculptures bring together the disparate cultural experiences of her youth, her ongoing spiritual quest, and her love of nature. She melds and molds her values into lyrical forms that are a meditation on humanity’s harmonious relationship with the universe. She is currently creating a line of work with a theme of “Water”.
Copyright © 2014-2018 Won Choi.