Pandit Pran Nath La Monte Young Marian Zazeela Jung Hee Choi Charles Curtis Terry Jennings Angus Maclise Richard Maxfield Just Alap Raga Ensemble The Theater of Eternal Music Kirana Center Teaching Program

Jung Hee Choi

Jung Hee Choi, artist/musician, works in video, drawing, incense, performance and sound presenting series of environmental compositions involving the concept of Manifest, Unmanifest. Her synthesis of expression in this series collectively creates an intersubjective space as a unified continuum and emphasizes the totality of sense perceptions as a single unit to create a state of immersion. Choi’s work has been presented in the U.S., Europe and Asia, including FRAC Franche-Comté, France; Berliner Festspiele, Germany; Guggenheim Museum and MELA Foundation Dream Houses, NYC; FRESH Festival, Bangkok; Korea Experimental Arts Festival, Korea. Choi graduated summa cum laude from NYU.

In 1999, Choi became a disciple of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in the study of music and art, with the classical Kirana tradition gandha bandh red-thread ceremony in 2003. In 2002, with Young and Zazeela she became a founding member of The Just Alap Raga Ensemble and has performed as vocalist in every concert, including those at the MELA Dream House, in 2012 the five-concert Pandit Pran Nath Memorial Tribute Tour in Berlin, Karlsruhe and Polling, Germany, in 2009, the Yoko Ono Courage Award ceremony, the Guggenheim Third Mind Live concert series and the Merce Cunningham Memorial celebration. Since 2008 Choi has been teaching Raga as instructor at the Kirana Center for Indian Classical Music.

Choi presented RICE, a video sound performance and installation in a setting of Marian Zazeela’s Imagic Light environment in the MELA Dream House, NYC, in May--June 2003, and in October--November 2005 as a part of the La Monte Young 70th birthday celebration. The 2003 presentation was chosen as one of The 10 Best of 2003 in the December Artforum. Chrissie Iles wrote, “This video-sound work was presented in May at Dream House, the permanent installation of La Monte Young’s eternal music and Marian Zazeela’s magenta lights, and one of Dia founder Heiner Friedrich’s great legacies. A hypnotic projection of rotating mandalic forms radiated out from Zazeela’s magenta color field like silent fireworks, while the sound of Choi tracing a circle around the top of an overturned cooking pot with a rice paddle created a single repeating tone that resonated deep in the solar plexus.” On March 28, 2009, Choi presented a live video sound performance and installation of RICE at the Guggenheim Museum as part of The Third Mind Live series. 

Choi was founding producer and director for Mantra TV, a cable and webcast vehicle for advanced arts in New York City and Korea from 1998 to 2006. Her programs featured original works of art, music, dance, experimental film, and discussions of creative processes. Choi curated BITT Festival for the Arts 2010; film/video programs for the Korea Experimental Arts Festival, 2010; Syn Aesthetics, the Media Mavericks 1st Experimental Film Festival 2006. She co-curated Thinking MEDIA III, Seoul, Korea, 2012 and KU Exhibition of International Professors 2007, 2008, 2009, Seoul, Korea. Choi appeared as guest artist and lecturer at the School of Visual Art, NYC and École supérieure d’art de Mulhouse, France.

Choi’s 3-week solo drawings, video, sound installation, Ahata Anahata, The manifest The unmanifest, As a wheel that is one-rimmed and threefold with one-hundred and one spokes and where the illusion of the one springs from the other two, was presented in April, 2007 at Tompkins Square Gallery, NYC. In a further expansion of the concept of Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest, Choi’s solo exhibition, Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest II, presented at MELA Dream House in September 2009, included multimedia installations, a series of drawings, videos and a sound environment, illuminating various aspects of Choi’s works and their relationships across different media. 

MELA Foundation presented Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest III from August 21 to September 11, 2010, featuring three large-scale multimedia installations, a series of drawings, videos and her new sound environment, Tonecycle Base 65 Hz, 2:3:7 Vocal Version, with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Jung Hee Choi improvising over the implied tonic. This exhibition premiered the installation work Composition 2010 #1 created with needle perforated point drawings on black wrap with video. The drawings are viewed as indiscernibly moving light from video projection glowing through the pinholes, creating abstract and analogous representations of Manifest Unmanifest. 

From August 25 to September 17, 2011, MELA presented Choi’s Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest IV featuring her largest installation of calligraphic needle holes of moving light displayed in a wall of four floor-to-ceiling scrolls, her new Environmental Composition 2011 #1, and the world premiere of two live concerts of Tonecycle Base 65 Hz, 2:3:7 Vocal Version with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Jung Hee Choi improvising over the imperceptibly changing implied tonic in a paired setting with Choi’s acclaimed video feedback mandalic projection RICE.   `

Choi’s Manifest Unmanifest V was presented by le Frac Franche-Comté, l'ERBA de Besançon, le Centre d'art mobile and SONIC/Le Quai, ESA de Mulhouse in ERBA de Besançon, France from December, 2011 through January, 2012. Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest V featured two large-scale multimedia installations, videos and her sound environment, Tonecycle Base 65 Hz, 2:3:7 Vocal Version with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in New York City and Jung Hee Choi in Besançon improvising live across the Atlantic for the opening reception. The relationship of the improvisations to the drone continuously elaborates the musical meaning of the pitch. This exhibition presented RICE and her more recent installation work Composition 2011 #2 created with Light Point Drawings on black wrap with video. Part of this exhibition, Environmental Composition 2011#2, has been selected by the committee for acquisition of FRAC Franche-Comté for the museum collection, and exhibited at FRAC Franche-Comté through August 25, 2013.

In 2012, MELA presented Choi’s Ahata Anahata VI, featuring four Light Point Drawings set in her new sound environment Tonecycle Base 30 Hz, 2:3:7 with two highly acclaimed concerts performed by Choi, Zazeela and Young to overflow crowds. 

In Berlin during the Pandit Pran Nath Memorial Tribute Tour 2012, Choi presented a large-scale version of Tonecycle Base 60 Hz, 2:3:7 Vocal Version with Light Point Drawings # 3 and #4 from Environmental Composition 2011 #2 on the entire ground floor of Villa Elisabeth from March 19 – 31, 2012 as part of the MaerzMusik Festival of the Berliner Festspiele.  This 60 Hz version of Tonecycle allowed a harmonious interrelationship of the pitches to the pitches of the Young Zazeela Dream House taking place upstairs.

Choi’s video and sound works have been presented at BITT Festival 2010, Korea Experimental Arts Festival, 2009 and 2010, Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2007 and 2008, Korea; FRESH 2007 and 2009 festivals of international video art and short films, CODE, Bangkok; Diapason Sound and Intermedia Gallery, Gale Gates et al, Monkey Town, NYC; Gallery Hinterconti, Hamburg, Germany. Choi’s drawing-video-sound installations were exhibited in Asian Contemporary Art Fair, NYC, November 2008, and Art Asia Miami, December 2008.  Choi’s Multimedia installation Environmental Composition 2008 #1 was featured as part of Faces & Facts: Korean Contemporary Art in New York, Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Korean Cultural Service NY, December 2009.  Choi’s RICE installation was part of One and Three Quarters of an Inch curated by Peter Clough at The Former Convent at St. Cecilia’s Parish, Brooklyn, September 2010.

Choi has collaborated with Young and Zazeela to produce long-term video documentation of their lives and work, including the Dream House and affiliated events.  For the La Monte Young  Marian Zazeela and The Just Alap Raga Ensemble long-term video installation of "05 II 05 PM NYC" Raga Sundara, ektal vilampit khayal set in Raga Yaman Kalyan at the Kunst im Regenbogenstadl Dream House, Polling, Germany, Choi was both video director and video mastering producer, as well as a vocalist in the Ensemble. Choi also directed the video of the March 21, 2009 Just Alap Raga Ensemble concert from the Guggenheim Dream House, featuring Young, Zazeela, Jung Hee Choi and Da’ud Constant, voices; Jon Catler, sustainer electric guitar; Charles Curtis, cello; and Naren Budhkar, tabla, which has now been installed permanently at Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, Polling, Germany from the opening of their 2009 season, replacing the video of the 2005 Raga Sundara performance. 

Choi’s in-depth interview about her work is featured as part of the Asian Contemporary Art Week presentations organized by Asia Society, NY. Choi’s essay, SOUND: A Basis for Universal Structure in Ancient and Modern Cosmology, was first published in the program notes for the performance of RICE as part of The Third Mind Live series, Guggenheim Museum. It discusses the historical outline of inaudible sound vibrations that appear in ancient writings, including Mesopotamian, Greek, Vedic, Asian and Islamic texts, the physical characteristics of sound and the relationship of these ancient concepts to contemporary scientific discoveries. Choi received The Experimental Television Center’s Finishing Funds 2006 award, supported by the Electronic Media and Film Program at NYSCA.