Originally published on NYCityLens.com.
By Amy Chyan
She hovered over the house plant and watched the ants crawl. This is what Mi Ju, 27, a Korean-born painter, installation artist and master’s of fine arts student at the Pratt Institute, does, to gather inspiration for her art.
“She’s manically obsessed over nature,” teased Hiba Schahbaz, Ju’s studio neighbor.
Ju lives and breathes art, citing indigenous cultures, sciences and the places she’s traveled to as inspiration. She works on the mandate of combining space, art and vivid colors. Hidden surprises show up in her paintings when she combines fine paint strokes with paper cut outs to create a three dimensional feel.
On Dec. 9, Pratt held its annual “Open Studio Day” in Brooklyn during which master’s students showcased their work in private art studios provided by the school and opened to the public. For Ju, who will be hosting her first solo gallery show in September 2012, the day was like a dress rehearsal.
Ju usually spends more than 12 hours each day working at her studio, leaving just a little before midnight and returning the following morning to repeat it again. For down time, Ju goes to Prospect Park is where she catalogues shapes she sees in nature as sources for her next project.
“This is the most I like,” said Ju, whose first language isn’t English. “And it’s honest. I’m curious of what I’m going to make every time.”