Westwood Inaugural Show

Define the Loved Subject
September 16th - October 22nd, 2023
Min Ji Son

Photos by Keegan Holden
Press Release
By Misael Oquendo

Min Ji Son (b. 1994 Anyang, South Korea) is an artist and designer based in Los Angeles. She graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016, where she studied painting. Over the last four years, she began experiment with fashion garments and digital technology while continuing her painting practice. She has since been featured in fashion editorials and culture publications such as Vogue and ARTNews. As an image-maker, she is a beloved and avid collaborator, working with filmmakers, stylists, musicians, and other creatives. Define The Loved Subject marks her first solo exhibition at Quarters Gallery and in Los Angeles.

As neither ‘image a’ nor ‘image b’ survived the explosion into ‘image c’ entirely, there remained a sensual and vibrant echo of their form from before. This transformation beckons a vital exercise of illusion—shuffling the deck, the stacking of visual matter, the proverbial transformation of meaning. The gravitational pull at the center of Son’s paintings, often featuring a central figure, bears witness to the interplay of this instability of meaning. At the edge of this, gravity permeates flickers of reality, stochastic and swirling. The central figures remain malformed and knotted with the edges of abstraction (like the Italian Non-Finito sculptures, unfinished and perma-affixed to their raw material block). As if in active formal dissipation, similar to the flickers of reality at the edges, the figures are transformed by a more profound and less intense force of gravity. Their unfinished quality serves as a gesture of de-emphasizing them as primary subjects, mitigating the separation between them and their surroundings while at the same time leaving room for the capacity of voyeuristic embodiment. In their malformation and distortion, the forms and figures appear in motion, animated by the gravitational pull at the center of the paintings.

Perhaps it is crucial to understand Son’s multidisciplinary eagerness. Within her practice as an artist and designer, Son transitions between modalities of making with great enthusiasm and care, slowing and speeding as the modalities of making allow. It is, nevertheless, an image-making and meaning-making merry-go-round. Son’s paintings indirectly convey this shuffling of modalities in visual swirling form while directly contending with the sense of motion, the act of animation. An intimate practice of divination influences the imagery in Son’s paintings. The shuffling of meaning draws as much from a state of motion, of moving between disciplines, as from the game and reading of tarot cards. A mancer is one who practices a specific type of divination. Son’s paintings in motion are born of a form of deeply creative and animated divination. Son is an animancer.

This is all one big fugue! It is not a fugue of being subject to foreign context or identity but of being animated away from a state of conscience. The gravity is pulling at meaning, causing a state of explosive creation and profound unconscious longing. For Son, the question ‘How does it make you feel?’ is secondary to the state of unconscious animancy.