Heejae Jo is one of the current Resident Artists participating in the City of Mississauga’s Resident Artist Program at the Living Arts Centre.
Painting and Drawing
Hee J. Jo is a Korean-Canadian artist based in Mississauga, Ontario.
Having an interest in learning how people acquire emotion and their patterns of behaviour, Jo studied Educational Psychology at Sookmyung Women’s University in South Korea. Attending a women’s school also had a great impact on her feministic perception. Studying abnormal psychology in university, she has been questioning the boundaries between normal and abnormal. In her art, she likes to experiment with what we believe is normal—tradition, universal values, and rational ways of thinking.
Jo immigrated to Canada in 2015. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University. The relationship between her complex identity and new surroundings has a major impact on her art.
Jo’s work explores simplicity, shapes, colours, and abstraction. Inspired by dreams and memories, Jo explores the illogical aspects of dreamscapes, unearthing hidden desires and a deeper sense of self. With a touch of playfulness, Jo’s art captures the absurdities of life, inviting viewers on a whimsical journey as they seek harmony amidst the joyful and unpredictable.
“I consider my art-making process as a way to make sense of the world around me. I like to completely engage myself in the art-making journey from preparing the surface to painting colours. In a marginal position in society, I try to deal with the alienation and see the impact of my new surroundings. I have been questioning the borders and relations of the in-between. With my art, my goal is to find the comfort zone between the artless and the artificial. I chose to simplify the shapes and colours during this journey. My interest is also in the land and how we reside together on it. I found the world full of absurdity—the good and bad mixed up. And I believe in the beauty of imperfection. When I find an ugly and awkward moment between colours and shapes, I feel relieved and natural. The shape of lives is not always perfect. It is stained, marked, crushed and scattered. So is art, I believe. I enjoy my process of looking for the best harmony among the absurdities.” – Heejae Jo