Soonae Tark developed a new body of work when she moved to Sunnyside, Queens from France in 1996.
“I have enjoyed living here and am enriched by the landmarks of the Sunnyside neighborhood. Upon first moving here, I tried to free myself and just feel the environment around me. The energy of New York City with its diversity and complexity nurtured me enough to begin again. Even now, when I come back from a long trip, I feel like this is my hometown.
At first, when creating this new body of work, I used opposite actions, such as a vertical action over horizontal action over and over. I would use different colors and brushes to build a layered form on paper. The sizes of these pieces were about 6 x 9 inches, this was in order to obtain quick results and also to control myself. Practicing each day produced thousands of drawings. Later, I eliminated the brush strokes completely. Now, instead, I systematically work with flat color surfaces on canvas that convey piles of shapes. These piles demonstrate balance, imbalance, repletion, and continuity that depend on the weight of the color.
Rather than a representation of the external, my work is an expression of my existence. As one day follows another, I repeat the same action over and over much like placing a stone on a cairn.
I continue to work on canvas, wood, paper and plexiglass. I build images systematically on flat colored surfaces, using very precise forms and colors of different weights which are placed together to create a perfect, yet precarious, balance. I enjoy exploring new materials and working with color and form, using rigid lines to playfully create three-dimensional effects on a flat surface. I like the challenge of making art.”
About Soonae Tark
Soonae Tark continues to exhibit her reductive, colorful geometric work in galleries, museums, and public spaces. Her list of awards includes two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants, the Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant, a National Academy Museum Abbey Mural Painting Fellowship, and an Individual Artist Initiative Award from the Queens Council on the Arts. She has won more than 15 cash awards in national and international competitions including the First Place Award of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.
She completed two compelling permanent public artworks for the City of New York. She installed a glass mosaic mural on the platform of the Buhre Avenue subway station, Bronx through the MTA Arts for Transit Commission, and awarded competitively. Her other public two story mural work was placed in New York City’s P.S. 306, commissioned by the Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program, a competitive award. Her joyful celebration of color and delight was featured on the cover of Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City’s Mayor’s Management Report. Most recently she has been awarded a Public Art commission for the Barack H. Obama Magnet University School, New Haven, CT by the City of New Haven and an Asphalt Art at Bliss Plaza, Sunnyside, Queens through the DOT commission, scheduled to be installed in May, 2019.
She has had solo exhibitions in the United States, Korea and France. Her work has been included in over 100 juried and invitational group exhibitions across the United States and was exhibited at the U.S. Embassador’s residence in Seoul, Korea (2009 to 2012) by the Art in Embassies Program, Department of State, Washington DC. Currently, her work is exhibiting in light boxes at Union Station, Los Angeles Metro. The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, New Jersey- Herald News, Louisiana Magazine-The Advocate, Queens Chronicle and many others have favorably reviewed her work. She has been featured in Marquis Who’s Who in American Art and New American Paintings, Juried Exhibition in Print, with inclusion of her work on the back cover. Her work was featured in U.S. Department of State’s 2012 Desk Calendar and numerous times for the Cover Art of books, News Paper.
She has her BFA from Dongduk Women’s University in Seoul, Korea and her MFA from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, France. She lives and works in New York City.