When I paint, I let my emotions guide my hand, as I explore unfamiliar landscapes where unknown amalgamations of glowing, viscous textures sit suspended in starlit voids. The “Studies of Emotional Textures,” begun in March 2020, contemplate the haunting potential to find beauty in the midst of loss. These paintings are the accompaniment to an atlas of undiscovered emotional territory, a technology I develop to record, revisit, and reexamine my feelings.


This is the most concentrated and unadulterated topography of emotion, insulated in the black matte void where only white light beams penetrate. This realm is constructed to measure and render the emotional truth, devoid of any judgment or distraction. The forms grow organically, but order is still created analytically. Textures and forms are recognizable from the real world, yet separated from their usual context to enhance their quintessential nature.


These naturalistic elements, astray in an unnatural setting, are not only a reminder of the beauty of the world, but also of its indifference and persistence outside of our experience. As the light bathes the scenes, my emotional reality is crystalized in the textures revealed. These images evoke the sensation of floating in space, drifting away from our home planet towards flaming stars and glowing galaxies, and understanding the fragile complexity of existence.


Jeannie Rhyu is a Korean-Canadian artist, living and working in New York City. Jeannie graduated from Columbia University in 2017 with a double major in Visual Arts and Architecture. Her paintings, sculptures, and interactive installations have been exhibited in solo and group shows in New York, Vancouver, Seoul and Beijing.


Jeannie enjoys exploring the concepts of space, color, embodied experience, and the materiality of light. She is especially fascinated with capturing the intangible – fleeting moments, her feelings, flashing visions, and her dreams. In her gouache, watercolor, acrylic, and oil paintings, Jeannie explores unfamiliar landscapes where crisp crystalline structures merge with organic masses, and where soft glowing light punctures through dense colored air, illuminating bubbly beings that float around.