Christina Yuna Ko

Born: Flushing, New York
Lives: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Christina Ko was born in 1990 in Flushing, New York and grew up in New Jersey. She received her B.F.A. from Cornell University May 2013. She is a second generation Korean American, and much of her work deals with the interplay of these two cultures that affect her identity. She works primarily in painting, but also works in drawing and sculpture. Her work in the past few years has been dealing with the iconography that dominates the Korean ideal of beauty. The ideal being someone who is young and doll like, thin with large eyes, defined nose, and small face. In order to do this, she re-examines the popular culture by appropriating and manipulating the language that surrounds it. She depicts the generic and iconic nature of the language of the cute and the beautiful. Hence, features of a face are made into form, colors made into form, form made into icons associated with the cute and the beautiful and the tools necessary to achieve such cuteness and beauty. Because the images are rendered utilizing the infantile language of the cute in bright colors and cartoon like style, the potency of the language of beauty to make all things appear innocuous and appealing becomes clear. And the saccharine nature of the combined icons creates an experience too sweet to simply be cute.


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