Hein Koh, Drinking and Smoking Alone, 2021; Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Print
Hein Koh populates her sculptural installations, paintings and drawings with anthropomorphic flora and vegetables that communicate complex emotions. Frequently working with metallic and technicolor materials, the artist is particularly known for sculptures that are often larger than life and arranged in dioramic displays. Koh’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; and Marvin Gardens, Brooklyn. In 2019, she completed a major public art project at Rockefeller Center in partnership with the Art Production Fund.
Drinking and Smoking Alone centers on a human-like broccoli that is seated at a table in the dark of night. Clutching a lit cigarette with one hand and a glass of wine with the other, the bright green broccoli pops against a largely black and white backdrop, rendered with crude strokes that contribute towards an overarching feeling of angst and rebellion. Although Koh does not smoke and rarely drinks alone, the actions express the sentiment of loneliness and alienation that many experienced during the pandemic. The act of smoking within her practice represents a moment of reflection, taking time for one's self and processing.
Of this series, the artist notes, “I was happy to be asked to release a print benefiting NAMI, because I've had my own personal struggles with depression and mental health. I’ve also been close to so many people who have also struggled with their mental health and, during the pandemic, it became a much more visible and common issue. It’s important to talk openly about mental health in order to figure out how to allocate resources and help to those who need it. Healing is a collective process.”
Of the total net proceeds from sales of this print, 20% will benefit NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and, as with all ART FOR CHANGE initiatives, the artist receives 50%.
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