Jae-Eun Choi – Forests of Aśoka

Dates : September 11 (Sat.) – December 26 (Sun.), 2010

The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art is currently holding the first solo exhibition in a Japanese museum by the Korean female artist Jae-Eun Choi. For her theme, Choi has chosen the image of the tree, inspired by the story of the great Emperor Aśoka of India. The famed propagator of Buddhism ordered each subject in his kingdom to plant and care for five trees, each with a different purpose: one for the curing of diseases, one for fruit, one for firewood, one for house building, and one for flowers. Aśoka called them the “five small forests.”

This image of the tree is one that transcends time. This tree is also a source of mercy that arises from the abyss to offer boundless serenity to all living things even as it reaches out towards eternity.
The relationship between humans and trees has not changed since time immemorial. Be that as it may, it underscores the change that all things in this world must undergo. Borges once said “all spiritual experiences of human beings are reduced to the experience of time.” It is in that sense that the tree is truly a spiritual intermediary.
―From the concept note of the artist―

Reflecting on the great flow of life which encompasses the forest and the eternal rapport that has existed between trees and humans, Choi has given birth to a “forest” within the museum.

Featured artist

Jae-Eun Choi

Organized by

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

Under the auspices of

Korean Embassy in Japan, Korean Cultural Center

Supported by

MRA Foundation Japan

Sponsored by

SAMSUNG, Maeil Dairies Co., Ltd.

Cooperation provided by

Kukje Gallery