Erica Cho is a visual artist and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. Cho creates narrative and experimental film/video, installation and drawn and painted comics, having exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Japanese American National Musuem, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The stop-motion animation Our Cosmos Our Chaos toured North America and South Korea as part of Still Present Pasts, a multi-disciplinary exhibition on the legacy of the Korean War. Cho’s work has screened in film festivals worldwide such as the London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Expresión en Corto International Film Festival in San Miguel, and The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Cho received an MFA in Studio Art from University of California at Irvine and BFA in Art from Pennsylvania State University, was honored as one of Out Magazine’s Out100 for her remarkable contributions to LGBTQ culture, and has received awards from Creative Capital, The Third Wave Foundation, and the California Community Foundation. Cho was also honored as the Robert Motherwell endowed visual art residency fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts and has collaborated extensively with local Los Angeles community and youth art organizations such as The Heart Project, Self Help Graphics, and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Youth Arts and Education. Cho has taught visual art and media studies at Scripps College, Bryn Mawr College, Swarthmore College and currently teaches at University of California at San Diego.
Mountaintops are said to represent full states of consciousness, while pilgrimages up sacred mountains symbolize spiritual aspiration, a hope to give up worldly desires. My projects as an artist and filmmaker, however diverse the form, subject or narrative, all seem to be bound up in or loosely connected to an interest in how friendship, personalized ritual, and storytelling can make paper-mâché mountains move in people’s lives. I make the distinction paper-mâché mountains for several reasons. First, to point to a person’s specific experience of creativity and spiritual transformation by seeing mountains not as unmovable, formidable foes to conquer, but as simple monuments of one’s own creation signifying those spiritual longings unique to the individual, buried somewhere below the pressure of history, society and culture. I love the the small story nestled within larger, expansive social landscapes and often look to those spaces overlooked, hidden, forgotten within remembered history – the lost narratives of family and home, the subculture within subculture, and those personal stories kept secret and shared. I make the distinction paper-mâché mountains to also comment on the materials I feel compelled to work with – woodcuts, drawings, clunky stop-motion animation, super-8 film, simple objects drawn from personal environments or recycled from older work, even paper-mâché itself. All these materials seem to evoke the haptic, the recognition of an object, a story, or a memory emerging through the sense of touch. And so by using materials that are familiar or accessible, I hope to create a strong connection with my audience, providing a visual, poetic meditation for thinking, seeing, and feeling the metaphors and mystery in their own lives.
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To reach Erica Cho, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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