Jayoung Yoon


Jayoung Yoon

Jayoung Yoon is a New York-based artist born in Korea. She is a multidisciplinary artist. She has combined hair sculptures, performance, video and photography to create an environment and atmosphere that conveys her concepts of timelessness and perception of being present. 

She has exhibited in solo exhibitions at venues including Here Arts Center, New York, 2013; Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Delaware, 2011; KEPCO Plaza gallery, Korea, 2011; Museum of New Art, Michigan, 2009; ABBA Fine Art, Miami, 2009. Group exhibitions include Tibet House, NY; Jersey City Museum, New Jersey; SCOPE Miami; Arario Gallery, New York and Coreana Museum of Art, Korea. She has performed in multiple venues in New York including at Socrates Sculpture Park; Tenri Cultural Institute of Art, and the Center for Performance Research. 

She was awarded the Franklin Furnace Grant Fund, 2010. She has attended many Artist Residencies such as Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing space, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and others in Utah and Florida in the USA and international residencies in Argentina and Iceland. 

Her art has been featured or reviewed in Infinite Instances: Studies and images of Time, NY Art Magazine, The Village Voice, ARTVAS Magazine, Fiber Art Magazine and The Korea Times. She received her M.F.A. degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, 2009 and her B.F.A. from Hongik University in Korea, 2004.


My work deals with the perception of being “present” in any given moment. By developing our ability to focus our attention away from thinking and direct it into the body, we become fully conscious of being and become present in the moment. I am interested in creating images that invite people to pay attention to, as well as appreciate subtle moments. I combine hair sculptures video, photography and performance to create an environment and atmosphere that conveys my concepts of ‘Heightened Awareness’ and ‘Being in the Now’.  

By using the ephemeral, tactile qualities of materials, I transform the invisible thoughts of the mind into my physical art works that convey intimate feeling and direct attention to the body. My delicate and unique use of human hair as a medium adds an important visceral and tactile element to my art. The hair sculptures that I create are full of both deliberate, skilled craftwork and ethereal, vulnerable transience. Additionally, the growth, shedding and lasting remnants of hair complements and intermingles with my video and photography to further touch on the passage of time and questions of past, present and future.  

Hair has a duality: the tactile material quality suggests the present, while its representation of memory simultaneously suggests the past.  I use hair because it is from the body. It gives us a more corporal feeling than nylon or cotton thread. In respect to this material quality, hair also has an ethereal presence and vulnerability. It gives the feeling of the subtle moment. Hair is one of the parts of the body that grows as time goes by. As it grows longer, it represents accumulating time and memory. Since its physical properties make it last long after death, hair is an especially appropriate symbol of remembrance and spirituality. It means physical mementos of a departed soul to me.

Therefore, hair is very successful in representing spirituality from mundane material. The process of my work -- weaving and crossing the hair by hand – also represents memory and time. While I repeat a simple action to make hair sculpture, I have a thousand thoughts on my mind. The time I spend making the hair sculpture is the same as the amount of my thoughts. It is the residue of my past.   I combine hair sculpture with performance to draw my art into the present, creating an immediate connection with the viewer and the surrounding world. Through the performance, I take the viewer out of the constant stream of modern life. I offer an artistic experience in which one can slow down, pause and, in a sense, transcend time. Therefore my performance becomes a meditative practice for deepening the awareness of the moment, and a cleansing experience for the viewers. The performances are sometimes comprised of long-term actions, involving endurance, and silence.  

My work blurs the distinction between hair sculpture, video, photography and performance by synthesizing different formats and incorporating my own body into my art. I not only translate my own body and thoughts into the work, but also provoke the viewer to rethink their own personal awareness.


b. 1979, Seoul, South Korea
Lives and works in New York, NY

  • 2009Cranbrook Academy of Art, MFA
  • 2007Maryland Institute College of Art,
  • 2006Hongik University, MFA
  • 2004Hongik University, BFA
  • 2013Mind out of Time, Here Arts Center, New York, NY
  • 2011Sensory Thought, DCCA, Wilmington, DE
  • 2011Cleansing the Memories, KEPCO Plaza gallery, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2009Watching the Mind, Museum of New Art, Pontiac, MI
  • 2009 Ephemeral, ABBA Fine Art, Miami, FL
  • 2008Line of Thought, School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, MD
  • 2013East and West: Asian Influence on Contemporary American Craft, Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH
  • 2012Sacred Vision, Separate Views, Tibet House US, New York, NY
  • 2012Each moment we live our lives shine, Cullom Gallery, Seattle, WA
  • 2012Operating System, Sylvia Wald and Po Kim gallery, New York, NY
  • 2011Show Me Your Hair, Coreana Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2011Native and Foreign, LEM, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 2010Beyond images, Beyond New York, Rumian gallery, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2010Hair Tactic, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ
  • 2010Containment, Garfo Art Center, Salt Lake City, UT
  • 2010Irrelevant, Arario Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2009Arche Time, The Tank Space for Performing & Visual Arts, New York, NY
  • 2009Active Site Emerge, Flat Iron Building, New York, NY
  • 2009Positive Negative 24, Slocumb Galleries, Johnson City, TN
  • 2008SCOPE Miami, SCOPE, Miami, FL
  • 2008Fusion, ABBA Fine Art, Miami, FL
  • 2008Andres Serrano Picks Detroit, College for Creative Studies-Center Galleries, Detroit, MI
  • 2008Transforming the Elements, Artisans Center of Virginia, Waynesboro, VA
  • 2008Positive Negative 23, Slocumb Galleries, Johnson City, TN
  • 2007A Confluence of Raconteurs, Center of the Art Gallery, Towson University , Towson, MD
  • 2007Out of Order, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
2 Stanwix Street
Unit 3L
Brooklyn, NY 11206