Oh was born in South Korea in 1982 and immigrated to the US at the age of 13. She earned both her MFA (2009) and her BFA (2005) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing, receiving a Full Merit Scholarship (2001-2005) and Fellowship in Honor (2005). After graduation, Oh continues to exhibit widely in Chicago and abroad.
She has had solo exhibitions at Union League Club of Chicago, Zhou B Art Center (Chicago), Ed Pachke Art Center (Chicago), MIIT Museum (Turin), and Bluerider Art Gallery (Taipei). Over a decade ago, Oh created "Volossom," or "Blossom as a Manifestation of Wish or will." Over the years, the "Volossom" project has expanded beyond the scope of one artist, growing to encapsulate numerous community engagement projects. Oh continuously explores the intricate relationship between life, its process, and its manifestation.
60" x 108" Three 60" x 36" panels together
InJung Oh's paintings and sculptures exist as spaces where symbols and abstractions are animated with meaning. Oh creates psychological moments of reflection and balance in the face of a world filled with various tensions: gendered, cultural, and spiritual. She explores and disentangles complicated multiplicities, particularly those pertaining to her identity. Raised in a traditional Korean family, she now lives with a Chinese family in a Western society. In her work, Oh reaches beyond preexisting symbols; she creates them.
One of Oh's recurring and distinctive symbols is a visual representation of the female figure as a beacon for herself. Envisioning the female figure floating in the sky, akin to a blooming flower, Oh started her "Volossom" project. In English, the prefix "vol" means wish or will. By combining "vol-" and "blossom," the artist gives the word the meaning of "blossom as a manifestation of wish or will."
The sense of balance she seeks is also dependent upon the physicality of her work. In her Sculptural Painting series, Oh cuts incisions into the canvas and dips it in many layers of media to gradually solidify the material. She allows gravity to transform the form into a sculpture, thus transcending the traditional flatness of a painting.
Breath is carefully used to create her "Leaves of Life series," where she blows colors across canvas. For Oh, the concentration it takes to control her breath is meditative, filling the moment with peace. The concept of release is consistent throughout all these works, allowing the artist to manifest her inner thoughts and explorations into strokes and colors.
“Art is one of the most precious objects that feeds our lives and we need to feed off of art to balance life.” - InJung Oh.