Interstitial: A Conversation With Sophia Ma and Artists Feature Image


Interstitial: A Conversation With Sophia Ma and Artists

Curator Sophia Ma sat down with two of the artists in the group exhibition Interstitial: Jisoo Hur and Natalie Birinyi.

Sophia Ma: How does the interstitial, the in-between space (be it mental, physical, cultural, political, etc) figure into (or not) into your work?

Jisoo Hur: As I always try to develop how I see and connect the visual stimuli with my hand, to visualizing the interstitial between real objects I can touch and pictorial space I present on canvas is the key in my process. Overcoming the limitation of painting which is we can not touch, I’ve been focusing on simulating the feeling that makes me to touch the surface with my eyes. If I can say nowadays people are embracing another way to see by new sensorial creation like 3D illusion, then I think there must be the role which painters can take and respond to.

SM: And for you?

Natalie Birinyi: In my glitch series, I am tricking GoogleMaps to go inside and in between rendered buildings. I am literally forcing the program to access the invetwren space, but also metaphorically breaking through strict binaries. I think this in between space is where new possibilities are generated.

SM: What is your relationship to color?

NB: Lately I have become obsessed by color fades. I like to take ready made colors which are manufactured and cold and through the simple act of organizing them force them to take on a more emotive role, suggesting light.

JH: Color is surely setting the overall mood in my painting, but what I prioritize in choosing color in my works is more relying on deciding which part should be front and which part should go backside in my pictorial space. Recently I’m trying to somehow detach what I expected on color (like this beige could be elevating this mood), but more trying to redefine the color relationship in abstracting my feeling when I confront diverse media and think about how they work. I think for now what I’ve been trying to is to neutralize color by applying them and locking them without any given name tag. So people could read more their movement and where they are heading but not about what’s the yellowish part representing.

My work is all about where the digital meets nature, but takes in many forms.

SM: Did you learn anything new about your fellow MFAs in seeing their work contextualize against yours? If so, what?

JH: When I saw my paintings next to Jule’s I realized that my painting’s density is differently breathing next to her painting. Usually I saw my all works in my studio and that means they are surrounded by all the similar context I created. But at this time it looks way more longer journey for my painting and that was a pleasure to me to see where they are going far.

SM: Tell me a little bit about your artistic practice--routines and inspirations.

JH: I reference photography I took on my way in everyday life, but more importantly the photos I took are working as a kind of journal. Feeling from all source in my life and when I finally write down by clicking a button on my cell phone, I realized that it’s very simple gesture but I can paint so easily through the gesture in my phone. I think that’s the place where I integrate my eye and the technology and my hand all together. People frequently ask me why you are still on painting but I know where I start to draw my life and I can only finish the journal on my canvas or paper not in the camera, so I can tell them that painting should be the place where my meaning finally arrive.

NB: My work is all about where the digital meets nature, but takes in many forms. I work in drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and installation.

SM: What's next in/for your work?

JH: I’m now working on several pairs about configuring my photo’s features in my painting. I thought I need more specific connection, photo by photo and painting by painting as I’m obsessed with repositioning each photos theme on my surface with pictorial language. I hope I could present plentiful examples that can show where my photo linguistic features are and it’s recognizable surely.


Natalie Birinyi, Theresa Daddezio, Miles Debas, Freddie Greis, Jisoo Hur, Judy Koo, 
Jule Korneffel, Hannah Schutzengel, Adam Shaw
, and Noah Stitt

September 14-23, 2018

205 Project Space at Hunter College

205 Hudson St, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10013

Opening: Friday, September 14, 2018 6:00 – 8:00pm

Gallery hours: Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 6:00pm; Saturday and Sunday, by appointment

Curated by Sophia Ma

The in-between can be an uncomfortable place to inhabit. Despite the push toward binaries in the last two years, the modern world is increasingly invested in expanding the interstitial spaces where concurrent narratives exist, and more nuanced understanding is explored. The works in this exhibition—by ten artists that are currently enrolled in or recent graduates of MFA in Studio Art program at Hunter College—challenge viewers to engage with the interstitial. Delving into the fissures of the mind, body, and one’s surroundings; the artists featured weave in the interstice between the three, albeit in different ways.

We can physically enter the manifested light in Birinyi’s installation, whereas Shaw’s windows divide us from and connect us to the changing light. Greis’s work captures the mysterious glow that illustrates the line between a dream- state and mindful awareness, while Korneffel’s semi-opaque layers of paint create psychological interiors. Daddezio’s cavasses pulse between the biomorphic and the cosmic, creating interlocking spaces that are simultaneously earthly and alien, while Hurmanages to capture movement in the unsettling stillness of her paint. Kooasks us to read the stories her colors tell, while Debasprobes narratives and their representations through abstraction. Stitt’s textured globs of paint and Schutzengel’s multimedia, irregular forms both blur the boundaries between the flat and the three-dimensional. Between these works, no space is unclaimed.

Interstitial is generously supported by the Hunter College MFA Student Organization. The exhibition was curated and organized by Sophia Ma.