A public garden & cultural center

Christina Yuna Ko: Downloading Place

May 25 - August 25, 2019
Wave Hill House

Pictured above: Christina Yuna Ko, Unknown Places, April 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 28 x 28 inches. Image courtesy of artist.

Wave Hill House
May 25 – August 25, 2019

Queens-based artist Christina Yuna Ko reclaims and reasserts cute, feminine icons of East Asian culture as legitimate, artful, empowering subjects of Korean American identity. Painting in bright, pastel acrylic on hand-cut wooden panels, Ko arranges sushi rolls, floral boutonnieres, and frosted desserts with surrealist waterscapes, starry skies and digital motifs sourced from Tumblr and Facebook.

Ko uses power saws to cut the MDF wooden panels upon which she paints, further complicating any facile interpretation of the “girly” themes of her work. With billowy potted plants, calendar page hillsides and bands of green vegetation painted across abstracted apartment buildings and ocean views, Ko challenges traditional notions of “landscape painting”. The work, The Promised Place, featuring a tiled swimming pool and pink blooming flowers, serves as both a nod to the summer season of the exhibition and to Wave Hill’s Elliptical garden—once the site of a swimming pool for the estate’s residents. This painting, along with three other surrealist waterscapes, are oriented toward the Hudson River.

Juice boxes, sushi rolls, sandwiches and side salads adorn the wall as you enter The Cafe, perhaps prompting inspiration for one’s lunch order or just whetting the viewer’s appetite. The Corsage and Boutonnières works offer a bright and playful reminder that outside our cultivated and carefully conserved gardens, flowers are bent and bundled for moments of celebration and loss. With references that interconnect the domestic and digital, and the natural and imagined, Downloading Place visually articulates a myriad of motifs familiar to experiences of contemporary young adulthood and femininity.  

Originally from Flushing, Queens, Ko holds a BFA in Art and Planning from Cornell University. Exhibition venues include the Selena’s Mountain Gallery and Public Address Gallery in Brooklyn and The Korean Cultural Center in Washington D.C., among others. 

Pictured above: Christina Yuna Ko, Apartment Complex, March 2018, Acrylic on MDF, 48 x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Pictured above: Christina Yuna Ko, A Girl's Life Online, March 2018, Acrylic on MDF, Dimensions Variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Pictured above: Christina Yuna Ko, The Promised Place, August 2017, Acrylic on MDF, Dimensions Variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Pictured above: Christina Yuna Ko, Sad Juice Box, December 2017, Acrylic on MDF, 4 x 8 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Learn more about the artist here.


The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.