Hayun Choi creates portraits through thread painting and photography. She builds several layers of small threads on a thin black fabric to create a portrait of a person.
Looking through the thin fabric, the viewer will see the actual photograph of the same person gazing toward them from the background. Her work depicts the subject in two states: being gazed at and gazing directly at the viewer. Hayun Choi explores and experiments the application of textile media and threads and presents them as if they were strokes of a paint brush.
I first saw Choi's work at the London Art Fair, I thought the complex use of threads to build a picture was a brilliant new way of creating portraiture, the choice of colours and layering of threads are so subtle. The added dimension of seeing a photograph through some of the paintings adds an almost haunting quality to some of the works.
With the imminent visit of the Bayeaux Tapestry to the UK textile art is very much in the news, Choi's techniques create photorealistic recreations of faces and things.If you like these you should also check out some of her more imaginary pieces, creating Marilyn Monroe as Smurfette in blue thread for example hints at a very playful sense of humour.