It’s our pleasure to announce EKAH, our newest Lightbox artist! Walk, bike, or drive by 312 S Neil St (corner of Springfield & Neil) to see her surreal mural, Subsurface, in person. EKAH was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in NYC. She’s most interested in exploring the surreal, the absurd, the nonsensical, and the beautiful through images in all media, and tell a story in the process.
After attending college in NYC and Paris, EKAH worked as a graphic designer, art director, and in broadcast animation and video games, and has worked with clients such as Jim Henson Productions and Mattel Interactive. Ekah has lived and worked in France, San Francisco, Orlando, & Montreal. She currently lives in Champaign-Urbana with her supportive spouse and two cats.
Here is more about her LIGHTBOX Installation, in her own words:
“Subsurface” is one of half dozen ideas I had specifically for LIGHTBOX. It began as a sketch on a newsprint pad, then as an 18″ x 12″ ink and watercolor illustration. I love mural art and street art, and I wanted to create a mural that was inspired by street art for Champaign, which seemed to lack any large-scale street art. “Subsurface” belongs to one of my worlds and themes, The City of lost Animals, which I spoke about during my last Pechakucha Night. I was intrigued by the idea of one’s life spent on an inordinate amount of time underground, commuting to work, and the idea that there’s an entire world with its wheels turning below the surface 24/7. Many lifeforms do exactly that, and I saw the parallel between the subterranean lifeforms and underground commuters. Some of the animal characters in the piece are composites of the weary commuters and “subway musicians” that I have witnessed while growing up in NYC. Others are somewhat autobiographical although I prefer not say which. My wish for the piece is for the passersby, commuting to and from work, will see the mural and smile.
A HUGE thank you to 40 North for being a partner and sponsor for LIGHTBOX! Interested in being featured in LIGHTBOX? Contact Kelly White at 40 North for an application!
About LIGHTBOX: We wanted to repurpose our southern front window creatively, and in 2015 we decided to launch a community gallery space. It’s not meant to showcase paintings, but rather provides a space for artists to create an original installation using the LIGHTBOX space. The art installations rotate every three months.