Mago is an ongoing solo art exhibit of Portland-based painter and illustrator Stella Im Hultberg at the Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco. The artist’s stunning paintings and drawings are an exploration of her rich Korean heritage and traditional myths and folk stories.
According to Korean mythology, Mago is the mother of all mothers and the very root of creation. Her daughter goddesses So-hee and Gung-hee were supposed to have birthed humanity. Stella has interweaved her dual role of being a daughter and mother herself, with her own interpretation of folklore.
Continuing her exploration of the figure and flora, Mago incorporates new elements such as traditional folk textiles and craft influences. Hultberg’s figures, positioned in dream-like and weightless landscapes, portray the duality of vulnerability and quiet strength. The Archer depicts a lone woman dressed in white amongst a field of blooming flowers holding a traditional gak-gung or horn bow “standing up to protect her people.” This specialized bow “when unstrung, would bend into a circle, making it very portable and light, and very resilient and elastic when strung up.” The artist describes the bow as a “metaphor for all the potential energy and strength harbored in people who seem small and insignificant and less powerful.” Mago the title painting for the exhibition (pictured above) depicts the namesake deity as the mother mountain with her daughters, charged with contemplation, life and potential.
Mago will be on show at the Spoke Art Gallery, San Francisco, till the 23rd of September 2017. You can follow the event page on Facebook for more information on a chance to win a gorgeous giveaway print.