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Jungil Hong, Growl Fowl

Mountain Fold Gallery
55 Fifth Avenue, 18th Floor, 212-255-4304
Greenwich Village
September 18 - October 16, 2009
Reception: Friday, September 18, 7 - 9 PM
Web Site

Mountain Fold is pleased to announce the opening of the solo exhibition of “Jungil Hong: GROWL FOWL”. It has yet to be determined whether Jungil Hong is an artist or a swarm of birds. It is far more likely that a thousand beaks, each carrying one brightly colored scrap of paper, pasted these collages together with their spit, like a hive of paper wasps. If there are people in these turbulent landscapes, they still forage and work in packs, armored in chain mail as if they were drawn by something that couldn’t imagine skin without the articulation of scales or feathers.

It is true that there is an armored head and a hand, fitted with chain mail, hanging on the wall. These may be parts of the hunting costume worn by whoever collected the strange trophies preserved in glass boxes, or they may be the head and hand of a metal scaled being, culled and hung here as trophies themselves. There is also the patterned metal shield, like a chink out of the armored sky. Even these things, human in scale, are made of small metal rings and thin, stamped discs, each one of which could be carried in a curled and precise claw, to be linked and sewn together into an approximation of human form.

It’s as though this hive of birds collected strands of every element in their world and spliced them together into this patterned place, like a crow’s nest found in the rafters of a yarn factory. This pattern isn’t decoration. It is the stuff that this world is made of.

Here, the roots of trees hang like chandeliers out of dark and electric clouds. Birds peer through windows that look out onto different days, float in boxes filled with inverted landscapes, or fly through the hiss and crackle of the frenetic sky beneath the floorboards. Inside a workshop, trees and tools are grown, each in their own cell, like larva.

There is the suspicion that this room is inside one of these collages. There is the suspicion that the patterns that make up the fire flooded mountains and the lightening laced ground have shifted their dimensions to configure this room, like a single cell of a bee hive, magnified to the scale of an apartment building and opened to visitors. Sometimes these patterns lay flat, to serve as walls. Sometimes they shift and open, giving way onto a patch of place or time.

There may be a dark and spreading cloud, moving across the topographies hung on the walls. If it is some fog of decay, swallowing all it surrounds, it is also a billowing, black soil that the things of this place are grown from. If the crows that have made this place, dream of the storm gathering, they also dream of the fevered potential of doom.

-Jenny Nichols
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