September 29, 2016 – February 4, 2017
In Leviathans, Jiwon Park examines the flags of 206 sovereign nations, whether recognized by the United Nations or not. She turns these symbols of utopian aspirations to national cohesion into pie-chart-like objects, emphasizing their standardized character based on carefully calibrated percentages of colors. These cool, geometric, abstract forms raise questions: How do they engender patriotic fervor, rally and unite? How do these symbols generate perceptions of shared values and histories? The issues embedded in Park’s installation resonate strongly—especially today, when volatile national politics and global conflict has resulted in the greatest number of migrants ever recorded in history.
Born and raised in Seoul, Park is a graphic designer, visual communicator, educator and social entrepreneur. With professional experience in the private sector, including at Samsung Electronics, London-based Brand Environment Ltd., and her own design studio DAREZ Inc.; she is interested in using design processes to catalyze social change. She is a co-founder of the social enterprise 1/2 Project, as well as an organization called Design Can Do, which hosts interdisciplinary design-thinking workshops to engage diverse stakeholders in tackling local social issues.
A former Fulbright Scholar, Park received an MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA in Visual Information Design from Ewha Womans University. She is currently an assistant professor of Design in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin.