Free Solo: Tai Hwa Goh’s Installation Reaches New Heights at the Target Gallery

When the art center reopened last month, with limited weekend hours for the time being, Target Gallery debuted the 2020 Solo Exhibit!

The 2020 Solo Show at the Target Gallery of the Torpedo Factory Art Center features the paper sculpture creations of Korean-born artist Tai Hwa Goh. (Photo: Kelly MacConomy)

Alexandria, VA – The Target Gallery is the contemporary art space in Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory, showing eight juried exhibitions each year, including the annual solo show. When the art center reopened last month, with limited weekend hours for the time being, Target Gallery debuted the 2020 Solo Exhibit. It is an opportunity for an artist chosen by a field of recognized art experts to showcase a single vision. With Director Leslie Mounaime’s curatorial expertise and ever-insightful installation, Target Gallery never fails to showcase the most uplifting, progressive art experiences in the DMV.

Turkish artist Sermin Ciddi showing Mayor Justin Wilson and his daughter Lena her allegorical masterpiece “Old Town Alexandria in the Moonlight” in her Torpedo Factory Studio 331. (Photo: Kelly MacConomy)
A pen and ink on deer skull work in progress by mixed-media artist and illustrator extraordinaire Guy Jones in Studio 337. (Photo: Guy Jones)

This year’s soloist, Korean-born Tai Hwa Goh, received her MFA in printmaking and sculpture from the University of Maryland and an MFA in printmaking from the Seoul National University. After establishing herself as an artist and lecturer in the Washington, D.C. area, Ms. Goh relocated to New York. Her installations have been shown at the prestigious Wave Hill on the Hudson River art center in the Bronx and at galleries and art establishments throughout the greater New York region and back here in the DMV.

The pristine Target Gallery space, bereft of wall text and title labels, assumes an ethereal, otherworldly ambiance. Paper floral sculptural creations evoke a sense of wonder. The perspective is macroscopic, although exquisitely detailed. The impermanence of paper shapes suggests fragility, yet there is something imposing and almost threatening about the imperious, towering floor pieces They are delicate and formidable all at once.

Juried by Isabel Manola, Jackie Milad, and.Don Russell the macroscopic floristry of Tai Hwa Goh’s solo show takes the prestige of the Target Gallery to new heights. (Photo: Kelly MacConomy)

Visitors are at first glance inclined to assume the sculptures represent coronavirus microbes. Brightly-colored saffron and orange spherical, segmented, alienesque blooms lend themselves to the suggestion. The exhibit was a year in the planning and jurying, long before anyone conceived of a worldwide pandemic capsizing life as we know it. Anyone who has ever left a garden unattended during rainy days knows they likely will return to uninvited floral and vegetative invaders overtaking cultivated green space. The metaphor is not lost in Goh’s expression of the delicate balance between the vulnerability of the natural world and the human propensity to explore, understand, manipulate, then ultimately conquer and exploit it.

Tai Hwa Goh’s stunning solo show will be on exhibit at the Target Gallery through July 26, 2020. There will be a virtual artist’s reception July 10 at 7:00 pm. The Target Gallery and the Torpedo Factory Art Center are adhering strictly to Alexandria City COVID-19 protocols.

Detail of Tai Hwa Goh’s intricate paper sculpture. (Photo: Kelly MacConomy)

Hours are subject to change. Visitors should call ahead to confirm opening and closing dates and times at 703-706-4590. The Torpedo Factory will be closed July 4 in honor of Independence Day. For now, the Target Gallery is tentatively open Friday-Sunday 10:00 – 6:00 in Studio 2. The Torpedo Factory and the Target Gallery are always free and open to the public.

During your visit to the Target Gallery be sure to stop by the studios of numerous working artists among the three floors of the Torpedo Factory, as well as the wonderful collective works of local artists in all media on exhibit at the Art League Gallery. Many dedicated artists have been hard at work throughout the COVID-19 shutdown when only city staff and artists were permitted inside the art center. They look forward to your return, so hurry on down to Old Town. Bring a mask and tell them Zebra sent you!

ICYMI: Now Open: Waterfront Art Reflects African American History in Alexandria