by Sukanya GargMay 23, 2019
'Braving the Cold' by Brooklyn-based artist Hein Koh included a variety of digital drawings and sculptures. The installation was the latest in the ‘Art in Focus’ series displayed at the Rockefeller Centre. The works featured loud and passionate colours and explored love, fantasy and femininity, with a heavy surrealist streak. Koh’s work could be seen in several locations throughout Rockefeller Centre including inside 10 Rockefeller Plaza, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 50 Rockefeller Plaza and the street and concourse levels of 45 Rockefeller Plaza, as well as outside in Rockefeller Plaza and in the light boxes along the Fifth Avenue.
‘Art in Focus’ is a multi-disciplinary programme that showcases installations by contemporary artists inspired by the New York City landscape and contemporary life. Artists featured in the series have their work displayed in a number of unique and unexpected locations throughout Rockefeller Centre. ‘Art in Focus’ is presented in partnership with Art Production Fund. Joana Avillez’s ‘Rockefeller Centre Holiday Map’ kicked off the series in December 2018.
Hein Koh’s edition of the show included seven sculptures, eight murals, and seven light-box installations. The installation took over two months to put together. Working with newer materials like satin and velvet, Koh worked in Photoshop to create digital drawings for the first time for this public art project. The digital drawings were finally printed on vinyl for display. One such installation of a rose braving the New York cold was exhibited outside the Rockefeller Centre. The largest mural that formed part of her project measured almost 126 feet in width and chronicled the various seasons.
Describing the inspiration behind the flowers, especially the three roses on display, Koh compared them to herself and her two daughters. She believes that becoming a mother and the subsequent exposure to children’s books and themes has further infused her work with not just colour, but an enthusiasm and positivity that was lacking in some of her previous darker works.
The art installation at Rockefeller Centre was on display till April 15, 2019. Subsequently, Koh began working on another public arts commission awarded to her by the Bronx Children’s Museum. It is expected to open in 2020. A distinguished artist, Koh has previously been a recipient of a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Grant and an Artists in the Marketplace residency at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.