top of page

Trace, iron wire, plaster, 2016



Trace, iron wire, plaster, 2016

Joohee Han’s work circles around the overarching theme of becoming and fading.

Everything on earth as well as the planet itself is subordinate to this loop. Han constructs blossoms out of filigree wire, partly filled with tinted plaster in an à jour technique.

 The steel wires define and support the form of the calyx. Sometimes the wire structure is covered in lacquer, color of bones, or it is left blank and naked. The gradient color range – fading and intensifying tones – in Han’s flora are also reminiscent of the cyclical symbolism: the shades of sunrise and sunset, day and night frame our lives.

 Some on Joohee Han’s floral brooches are in full bloom, but most of them are already withering. Both phases in the life of a plant last only for a short moment: to reproduce, the plant attracts the animals needed to help it by developing a conspicuous, splendid blossom. After fertilization the blossom has to move aside for the fruit to grow. It is from the beginning doomed by its function.

 Joohee Han’s forms show the most powerful growth: Buds sprout, cotyledon develop symmetrically, blossom set up lush umbels. But in the color choice she makes the first irritation occur: while delicate tones let us think of a bright morning, the rust as a symbol of decay adamantly takes over.

 The strongest alienation however can be found in the material. There couldn’t be a bigger contrast to the forms it represents: hard, cold, brittle, and inorganic; it embodies the opposite of all botanic matter. In contrast to the notion of coming to be and passing away, steel-reinforced cement is forever. Even though the rust will take some time to color the blossom (all the way, starting from the steel skeleton), the timely dimension is taken from the flowers, leading us to a permanent memento mori.


Carla Mayerhofer

bottom of page