Hein Koh was born in 1976 in Jersey City, NJ and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Koh graduated from Dartmouth College with a double B.A in Art and Psychology and an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale.
Fruit of her daily reflections, Hein Koh's work draws its accuracy from the sincerity she confers to each of her artworks. Love, artistic research, sexuality, motherhood, so many themes approached by the artist that allow us to observe the subtleties and contrasts of her personality, like her sculptures whose balance oscillates between the soft and bouncy aspect of lycra, the use of shiny materials, velvet and satin, shaded by the addition of tears, cold, icy colors and the use of evocative exhibition titles such as "Braving the cold" or "Joy and Pain".
After a ten-year hiatus during which she devoted herself fully to sculpture, Hein Koh decided to return to painting out of a need to approach a freer, expressive and emotional creation. It is in this context that she created the broccoli woman, an evolution inspired by her sculpture "Eat Me" made in 2019.
This new body of work, orchestrated around oil paint and charcoal, allows her to develop the psyche of these protagonists and create a framework around their existence. Broccoli and carrots, self-portraits to a certain extent, become the artist's main and recurring subjects. Healthy vegetables par excellence, they are the allegory of an imposed ideal: to be a good wife, a good mother, a good artist. Hein Koh wished to free her subjects from this insatiable quest for perfection, from the expectations of our society and from the dictates imposed on women: her characters are free to be whoever they want to be and do not fit into any box, celebrating femininity, the liberation of body and mind.
"Thinking, Reflecting", an outlet for a rich and deep inner life, evokes this moment of freedom, this desire to take time for oneself.
Smoking is not only a symbol of rebellion, it is seizing the opportunity to think, to reflect. The smoke escapes from the cigarette like the subject of the constraints which surround her, thus letting sail her thoughts to the rhythm of the volutes. The movement, very present in the recent works of Hein Koh, is slowed down, the time seems suspended. It is at this moment that the broccoli babe extirpates herself from her daily life to refocus on herself.
In 2021, Hein Koh exhibited at Anton Kern gallery in New York, Semiose in Paris and soon at Allouche Benias in Athens.
Her work will also be presented at SCAD - Museum of Art in August.