Jung Jaehos approach to his work seems to mirror that of a historian or an architect; his work is deeply entrenched in his interest in the modern cities and buildings of his birthplace, South Korea. His paintings are therefore often derived from his efforts in researching and archiving a plethora of elements within the old city districts throughout the peninsula.

 

The artists signature blend of pale colors make his paintings appear realistic, and almost cold. The geometrical forms, especially noticeable in his works depicting architecture and cityscapes, highlight this impression. Upon closer inspection, however, you might find a myriad of small and humorous details, hiding inside the vast planes of his paintings. 

 

Jung Jaeho delves into a variety of topics with his work; some seem autobiographical in recreating his childhood neighbourhood, whilst others reflect his critiques of societys capitalistic approach to renovation and progress. The crux of his work is the representation of the “odor of life” permeated in the surface. To the artist, the act of painting is an effort to recall forgotten memories, and also serves as a process of reanimating things that are lost in the past. Therefore, recreation itself means more than mere imitation to the artist. Through his work, Jung traces and collects the marks of modern times.

 

Jungs work often contains the recurring motif of the rocket, as can be seen in the installation titled Cast Away (2018). It evokes the themes of cutting-edge technology and futuristic science-fiction - a choice that may seem somewhat out of place. It is also a stark contrast to his use of Hanji, traditional Korean paper associated with ancient scrolls and paintings. This dichotomy ultimately reveals the artists underlying intention of capturing the spirit of the times. With one eye firmly on the conventions of the past, and the other on the hopes and aspirations for the future, Jung Jaeho creates a captivating shot of the present.