Jae Ko, paper installation from the United States. Photo © Courtesy of the artist

1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.

I am sculptor working with paper rolls. During my graduate program I began the shift from working with fancy paper to more industrial and mass-produced commercial paper products. This was due, in part, to the fact that these products were easily accessible and very affordable.

I began my initial explorations using rolls of adding machine or cash register tape. I began by exposing these materials to the natural elements to see how the paper would transform and what type of metamorphoses would take place.

Force of Nature Flow © Courtesy of the artist

2.What does your work aim to say?

My work is not about making a specific conceptual statement: rather, it’s about the transformative power of art. To me caring for the environment is essential. But I think of myself less as an environmental activist and more as someone who is inspired by the natural environment and can reinterpret landscapes, allowing visitors to experience a particular environment in a different way.

3.Where do you find inspiration for your art?

I was influenced by several trips to the American West, including the dramatic canyons and stratus of Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. Later I traveled to Newfoundland and Labrador and Alaska where I was very inspired by Glacier.

4.Could you give us some insight into your creative process?

Once I began experimenting with this paper I kept pushing what it could do. I would unroll and reroll it into as large forms as I could build by hand, and then I would soak it, twist it, or stack it. During this process, I learned how to control the tightness and looseness of the roll, thus significantly changing its look.

5.What are your future projects?

There are so many ideas sitting in my sketch books… these will be my future projects.

Interview by Fabio Pariante, journalist Twitter  Instagram


Jae Ko on social networks: Instagram

Jae Ko (Korea, 1961) is a Korean multidisciplinary artist and after attending Tokyo Art School, Japan, she graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Her artistic production is mainly carried out with enormous rolls of paper to create sculptures even of monumental dimensions: often the artist uses tons of recycled paper which she then shapes and transforms to install it on the walls and / or on the floor.

The color she uses the most seems to be white which is the color of the paper par excellence. Among her public works, the artist has collaborated with the Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Jae Ko lives and works in Piney Point on the Maryland coast.