About the artist

Choonja’s paintings are largely abstracted landscapes that envelope you into woods, fields and streams, and entice you along bosky paths leaving it to your imagination as to what you could find on the other side of the trees, how deep the water, how fast it flows and where that winding lane will lead you.

Having studied traditional calligraphy and history in Seoul, Choonja studied at Richmond Art College in Surrey. She is inspired by the works of masters such as the USA’s Andrew Wyeth, but works with a broader, more colourful palette translating local landscapes in and around the parks of Richmond, Hampton Court and along the River Thames.

Choonja enjoys enticing the senses with unexpected exuberances of bright colour. In her native Korean countryside, greens and browns predominate – a backdrop of emerald green of newly growing rice slashed by the sudden flight of a snow-white egret, the subdued hues of hillsides covered in conifers and the fertile brown earth punctuated by a shaft of sunlight reflecting off the bright red rooftiles of a farmhouse, leaving the brain surprised, confused and enchanted by the contrasts.

Choonja evokes her childhood memories of such scenes by seeing parallels in the extravagant colours of an azalea or rhododendron that flare out from the fresh green leaves of a sunny spring day in the Isabella Plantation at Richmond Park, or in the reflection of blossom in a tranquil pool in Bushy Park, Hampton Court.

On another plane, her bold brushwork is perhaps reflective of the years Choonja spent in the Middle East, with its sharp sunlight and harsh desert landscapes that demand a vigorous approach to translation onto paper or board.

Equally at home with watercolour and acrylics Choonja has lately commingled the two mediums and is experimenting with collage effects, adding leaves, twigs, sand and other natural materials to her work, giving her paintings an elemental dimension that is very much in tune with today’s environmental thinking.