Mina Cheon . art . text . teach . review . cv



Latest Project Development on What Weekly / Press Release from Ethan Cohen New York / Preview by The Sun Paper/ Partial Line Up by The Sun Paper

We Are Light City Video/ Spotted on CNN Things to See and Do in 2016 / Friends School Upper School Maker Space Visit

Video Interview The Baltimore Sun / Review by Bmore Art

Mina Cheon and Gabriel Kroiz, Artist and Architect Collaborative

Brilliant diamonds cast along the banks of the Jones Falls River. These 15 larger-than-life LED sculptures create illuminated landscapes of fabulous proportions and signify two Baltimores, one prosperous and hopeful and the other in a state of permanent emergency. The light will change from white to blue at 10pm recalling last April’s citywide curfew and respond to the most current and largest city light installation in Baltimore, the blue light police surveillance. Come see Diamonds Light Baltimore on the 1.5 mile BGE Light Art Walk. Light City is March 28 to April 3, with evening festival hours 7 - 11pm, and Friday and Saturday till 12 midnight. Location is E. Falls Ave @ Light City, Baltimore, Maryland.


Mina Cheon and Gabriel Kroiz, Cheon Kroiz, Artist and Architect Collaborative Tea.Diamonds Light Baltimore, idea sketch for light installation by the water for Light City Baltimore. All rights reserved: Copyright © by Mina Cheon and Gabriel Kroiz 2015.

Since 2004, Mina Cheon and Gabriel Kroiz has been working as an artist and architect collaborative team teaching in Baltimore and Seoul, South Korea, leading various international art and design exchange programs for different colleges including the Maryland Institute College of Art, Morgan State University, Ewha Womans University, Hong-ik University, and Korean National University for the Arts. The collaborative partnership included large outdoors and indoors, site-specific installations, performances, and exhibitions tied together by thematic concepts such as “Combat,” “Exhibition White,” “Jet Lag,” “Plastic Bag,” “Open Lid” which investigated cross-cultural situations and cultural phenomenon between the East and West.


The proposed series of diamond light installations for Light City Baltimore arose from one of these past projects and the installation is one that has transformed over the years, installed in various sites such as at the courtyard of SSamziegil, in historic Insadong of Seoul, the Brown Center of MICA, the Sungkok Art Museum and Gana Art Center of Seoul, as well as at the Ethan Cohen Beacon Art Center in Beacon, New York.


The new diamond light installation series for Light City Baltimore titled Diamonds Light Baltimore will be the an exemplary collaborative project between an artist and architect, where contemporary fine art and design will blend together in a series of innovative structures made of simple industrial lights parts and fixtures, and for the first time, created solely to withstand the outdoors environment. By using LED lights instead of the usual T5 florescent tubes, the diamond installation will be taken to the next level of durability, a phase of work and research that has been in the plans for several years.


Ideally installed on a stretch of promenade by the water such as the Baltimore Waterfront Promenade (#23), or in distinct visible sites such as McKeldin Square (Site #10), Pratt and President Street (Site #20), a series of 5 to 15 large diamond sculptures will be installed as if they are cascading in sequence, and if reflected by the water, the impact of the work will be amplified. While varying in size, they are large enough for people to walk through and in the different diamond shapes. The work transforms the experience of what is made possible with simple light parts while changing people’s spatial experience nearby or visually from afar. The work is both aesthetically pleasing and conceptually engaging and introduces newly sustained way of assembling light parts for the sake of art and cultural experience.  Past installments have been very popular with the audience but this new version hopefully can be the best technological and aesthetical version yet to be created by the Cheon Kroiz artist and architect team.

As a Baltimore-born and raised resident, Kroiz has dedicated his career to help the city regenerate as an architect and educator. Cheon has been living in Baltimore since 1997 and is a political pop artist who pursues art as social activism. This project to help light Baltimore is a wonderful opportunity to participate in the healing aspects needed in Baltimore since Freddie Grey. The project will reinforce imaginative and innovative ways to help resurrect the spirit and light of the city in a more powerful and meaningful way.


Mina Cheon and Gabriel Kroiz, Cheon Kroiz, Artist and Architect Collaborative Team. (Top Left) Diamonds R 4Ever. Light installation at Sungkok Art Museum in 2012, for Mina Cheon’s mid-career solo exhibition “Polipop: Political Pop Art,” Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea. All rights reserved: Copyright © by Mina Cheon and Gabriel Kroiz 2012. (Center and Right) Diamonds R 4Ever, 2012, edition 5, Florescent Light Sculpture installed at Ethan Cohen Arts Center Beacon, New York, 49.25 x 49.5 x 44” and 35 lbs. Mina Cheon and Gabriel Kroiz, Cheon Kroiz, Artist and Architect Collaborative Team. (Below) Diamonds: Will You Marry Me? Light installation at SSamziegil, Seoul, Korea, 2007. Installation assisted by MICA Korea students, directors Cheon Kroiz. All rights reserved: Copyright © by Mina Cheon and Gabriel Kroiz 2007. Architecture design by Gabriel Kroiz, Kroiz Architecture.


More information about the work and the concept behind the series of Diamond Light Installations and Sculptural Objects:


The Diamonds R 4Ever florescent light sculpture is a part of Mina Cheon and Gabriel Kroiz’ diamond series that highlights capitalism at its zenith. Diamonds, as one of the most valued and fantasized consumer object, can be viewed as the epitome of capitalism, but the hollowness of this structure contrasts with the permanence of diamonds and their cultural value, to highlight both aspects—both the spectacularity and the vapidity of the object. The diamond series also comments on our world’s spiraling economic woes and the descent of capitalism, at the same time, the piece also comments on beauty in nature as well as human value placed on objects.

Various large diamond-shaped light installations have been mounted in Korea and America, where each diamond light is made out of thin florescent light tubes and assembled with wooden structure support, and created as large as 24 feet diameters. The mammoth diamond shapes are either on the ground or suspended in mid-air. This is the first time a smaller version has been fabricated as a sculptural object, in the edition of 5.Starting with three outdoors diamond pieces at SSamzie Gil (by Kroiz Architecture) in Seoul, Korea, the installation was collaborated with architect Gabriel Kroiz and students from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and Korean National University of Art in 2007. Back then, called Diamonds: Will You Marry Me?, the installationincluded three scales of 12, 16, and 24 feet diameters. Two new diamond light shapes were created shortly thereafter for a temporary installation at the Brown Center of MICA.

Cheon’s solo exhibition “Polipop : Political Pop Art” at the Sungkok Art Museum in Seoul, Korea devoted an entire gallery, the “Diamond Room,” to diamonds as a way to critique capitalism. The two 12 and 16 feet diameter lay on the ground with a mirror surfacing an entire wall at the far end of the room. This version was named as Diamonds R 4Ever. All diamond series is done in collaboration with Kroiz, “Will You Marry Me” (2007) is collected by the SSamzie Art Collection, Paju, Korea. Currently the smaller sculptural object as a prototype is installed in the Ethan Cohen Arts Center in Beacon, New York. A temporary installation of the two diamonds were installed at the Gana Art Center in Seoul, Korea for a private commission filming of the work in 2014.


Artist and Architect Titles:

Mina Cheon (MFA, PhD), Full-time Faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and New Media and Political Pop Artist, Mina Cheon Studio, represented by Ethan Cohen New York gallery, Board member of New Media Caucus, College Art Association

Gabriel Kroiz (AIA, LEED), Chair and Associate Professor, Undergraduate Design, School of Architecture and Planning, Morgan State University, and Principal of Kroiz Architecture, Board member Baltimore Design School

Cheon Kroiz, owners of K-Town Studios Building at Korea Town, between Station North Arts District and Remington in Baltimore, Maryland
(Mina Cheon MICA Hoffberger Alumni ’99, UMBC Alumni ’02; Gabriel Kroiz RISD Alumni and UMD Alumi)