Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
For all her fine-lined flourishes—the icons, ribbons, symbols, and content she lifts from both Eastern and Western orthodoxies—Jiha Moon revels in the muddy and abstract. In her latest works, now on display at Curator’s Office, the painter once again blends hard-lined ink elements with atmospheric acrylic washes. Typhoon is a typical example: Moon paints dramatic swooshes in blue acrylic that evoke the maelstrom. In ink she draws incongruous Pac-Mannshaped stamps all over the abstract piece; a cartoonishly bold cloud, hovering near the top of the composition, rains down rays of primary colors. At first glance, it’s not clear what distinguishes Moon’s new work from pieces she’s exhibited previously. But Jade Cycle shows the artist moving toward the center, blurring the lines between hard-edged elements and all-over composition. Foamy white waves, recalling those of Hiroshige, grace the lower portion of the piece; these recognizable forms are complemented by aquamarine tendrils that move downward across the canvas, sometimes spilling like a waterfall, in other places snaking like roots. Chutes and ladders are always a presence in Moon’s vertical compositions, which draw heavily from the 18th-century landscapes of artists such as Gyeomjae. But in Beaufort Gorge—a landscape whose silver rays suggest a sun setting over the face of a canyon, and one of the more impressive paintings Moon has shown with the gallery—the recognizable vertical elements are more subdued. Cornflower-blue ribbons outlined in periwinkle give way to smaller ribbons, which give way to atmospheres merely outlined faintly with ink. By focusing on the micro-level instances where ink greets paint, Moon winds up with more cohesive, organic paintings that reward close investigation. The exhibition is on view from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, to Saturday, Oct. 27, at Curator’s Office, 1515 14th St. NW, Suite 201. Free. (202) 387-1008.