Choonja's paintings are largely abstracted landscapes that envelope you into woods, fields and streams, and entice you along bosky paths leaving it to one's own imagination as to what could be found on the other side of the trees, how deep is the water, how fast it flows and where that winding lane will lead you. Having studied traditional calligraphy and history in Seoul, Choonja is now studying at Richmond Art College in Surrey, and she is inspired by the works of masters such as the USA's Andrew Wyeth, but works with a broader, more colourful palette.
Choonja enjoys enticing the senses with unexpected exuberances of bright colour. In her native Korean countryside, greens and browns predominate • a backdrop of emerald green of newly growing rice slashed by the sudden flight of a snow white egret, the subdued hues of hillsides covered in conifers and the fertile brown earth punctuated by a shaft of sunlight reflecting off the bright red roof tiles of a farmhouse, leaving the brain surprised, confused and enchanted by the contrasts.
Choonja evokes her childhood memories of such scenes by seeing parallels in the extravagant colours of an azalea or rhododendron that flare out from the fresh green leaves of a sunny spring day in the Isabella Plantation at Richmond Park, or in the reflection of blossom in a tranquil pool in Bushy Park, Hampton Court.
On another plane, her bold brushwork is perhaps reflective of the years Choonja spent in the Middle East, with its sharp sunlight and harsh desert landscapes that demand a vigorous approach to translation onto paper or board.
Equally at home with watercolour and acrylics Choonja has lately commingled the two mediums and is experimenting with collage effects, adding leaves, twigs, sand and other natural materials to her work, giving her paintings an elemental dimension that is very much in tune with today's environmental thinking.
2002 • Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park
2003 • Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park
2004 • Fountain Gallery, Hampton Court
2005 • Kingston Gate Gallery, Kingston•upon•Thames
2005 • Hillrise Gallery, Richmond•upon•Thames
2006 • Hillrise Gallery, Richmond•upon•Thames
2007 • Hampton Wick Gallery
2007 • St. John the Baptist Church of England School, Teddington (charity sale in aid of school funds)
2007 • White Horse Hotel, Salisbury (charity sale in aid of Trade Aid, Mikindani, Tanzania)
2008 • Hampton Wick Gallery
2008 • New Days Gallery, New Malden