Aira Choi (b.1986) studied Metal Art & Design at Hongik University College of Fine Arts, where she earned her BFA and subsequent MFA.
Aira Choi imagines a place of wonder; a place of eternal love and bliss. A sprawling oasis free of civilization or human artifice, the utopian space is depicted with the Moon and the stars, sprawling plains and plateaus, mountains and lakes, dwelled-in by animals and plants that glimmer with sacred energy.
A leopard with a heart-shaped nose guards the garden. A panda is curious like a child. A flamingo in the water captures the pause of the crowd. The ladybug and butterfly are guides. The chameleon is an attentive, observant one. Choi’s paintings are an abstracted microcosm of the world she sees, and the one she imagines in her heart.
The oil colors are thin and layered, mostly using palette knife techniques. With each layer, the colors gain texture, depth, and liveliness.
Everyone pictures a particular paradise inside, according to Choi. Like a hidden treasure map, that perfect picture is not readily available until it is found in a moment of self-reflection; a reflection in her case, found on the Elysian oasis waters of her painted paradise.