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Resilient Heart and the Tree of Miracles

While planning my exhibition “Big Time Dreaming in the Age of Uncertainty” for March of 2019 at the Art Museum of South East Texas, I was contacted by Sculpture Month Houston organizer Volker Eisele. Volker was curious to see if I could contribute work for a sculpture exhibition in the Houston city hall rotunda.

 This is Resilient Heart and the Tree of Miracles, an installation by JooYoung Choi. 2018.

This is Resilient Heart and the Tree of Miracles, an installation by JooYoung Choi. 2018.

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 Detail shot of  Somnioplexic Resonance.  Featuring the Great Black Star Uprising.

Detail shot of Somnioplexic Resonance. Featuring the Great Black Star Uprising.

 Digital Sketch of Spacia Tanno Trapped in a Constellation Plasma Chamber

Digital Sketch of Spacia Tanno Trapped in a Constellation Plasma Chamber

 Freedom from Madness Sculpture Installation Shot, Lawndale Art Center, 2016. Here is Lady Madness during a different battle on Earth.

Freedom from Madness Sculpture Installation Shot, Lawndale Art Center, 2016. Here is Lady Madness during a different battle on Earth.

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 The Black Star Liberation made front page news.

The Black Star Liberation made front page news.

 
 Work in Progress, painting of Candarius Stomp

Work in Progress, painting of Candarius Stomp

 
 Queen Kiok using her Help-O-Matic 5000, the same model JooYoung Choi owns.

Queen Kiok using her Help-O-Matic 5000, the same model JooYoung Choi owns.

My 2019 exhibition focuses on the aftermath of the Black Star Uprising of 2016. This cosmic event led to the liberation of thousands of Black Stars. Black Stars are incredibly powerful sentient star beings, they live peacefully in realms hidden inside of Nebulas.

7200 light years away from Earth there is a planet called the Cosmic Womb, on this planet there is an evil dictatress named Lady Madness who lives on a tiny landmass called Volcano Island.

Lady Madness had discovered a terrible poison called Percepticide that can temporarily weaken, paralyze or even kill a Black Star depending up on the dosage. Using this poison her army captured thousands of these Black Stars and imprisoned them in constellation plasma chambers and siphoned energy from their bodies to provide electricity for her castle and to power her anti-eruptomator machine, this invention suppresses all volcanic eruptions).

In 2016 one Black Star named Spacia Tanno awoke and bursted through her chamber, she freed other Black Stars and liberated the Snow People from Lady Madness’s tyrannical reign. In the end, an all out battle occured and Lady Madness’s castle was destroyed in a sea of lava. The dictatress decided that all Black Stars were a threat, and all who sided with the Black Stars needed to be punished as well. She sent her Orionid soldiers, also known as the Legion of Horribleness to capture or destroy every Blackstar in their planetary system Cathexis 9 and beyond.

Black Stars escaping Orionid Legion of Horribleness.

For the City Hall project I knew it’d be important to visit the rotunda to get some inspiration.When I arrived noticed that the halls were bordered with words describing a Goddess of Purpose and Mien. It seemed to me that this Goddess was supposed to embody or symbolize what the artist envisioned Houston to be or become. But when I looked at the many Gods and Goddesses painted on the ceiling of city hall none felt fully representative of Houston.

Houston City Hall Rotunda

So I decided I would create a celestial being that reflects Houston and also connects to the larger narrative I have been developing for my AMSET Show. I realized that creating a new Blackstar character would be perfect. Since black contains all the colors, it reflects the diversity that makes our city beautiful and strong. Also, I have always loved how the I-Ching, regarded the color black as not a bad or evil color, but instead the color of heaven. Moreover, I have always felt that how we use the term black to describe something as twisted (i.e. black humor) or evil (drive out the darkness) to be misleading. Blackness has been a symbol of truth and freedom for me, how else could those who sought liberation see the stars to guide them on their way? It is only in the black of night that we can see the constellations that lead us to freedom.

 Pleasure Vision Plaque included in City Hall Rotunda installation.

Pleasure Vision Plaque included in City Hall Rotunda installation.

I have found etymology to be a big inspiration in my creative process. My beloved latin teachers taught me to love words and to be curious about their origins. From a few hours of research I found that Houston actually mean’s Hugh’s Town, and if we look at the franco-germanic meaning of Hugh, it’s root Hug- means heart, mind and spirit.

 Pleasure Vision Plaque included in City Hall Rotunda installation.

Pleasure Vision Plaque included in City Hall Rotunda installation.

In Korean culture the family is often described as one being, almost as if the pain of losing a child is like losing a part of your own body. Being adopted myself, and being separated for over 20 years from my birth I felt a new sense of wholeness after being reunited with him. I wanted to capture that feeling and so I decided I would make this Goddess of Houston be not one, but three beings, a mother named Resilient Heart and her two children Brilliant MInd and Everlasting Spirit.

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What follows is the story of Resilient Heart and her Journey to Find her Children MInd and Spirit. The figure featured on your left is named Resilient Heart. She belongs to family of beings known as Black Stars. They are celestial beings made of pure energy, they are sentient stars that can teleport, fly and take any form they desire. They are the most powerful beings found within our known planetary systems. Resilient Heart, and her children Brilliant Mind and Everlasting Spirit lived peacefully in a secret realm called Jayu hidden within the NGC 6891 Nebula located about 7200 light years away.

On October 20, 2016 the dictator Lady Madness commanded General Orion #486 leader of the Legion of Horribleness to launch a surprise attack on all possible Black Star communities from Cathexis 9 to the Outer-realm of the Universe. Resilient Heart did her best to protect her family, but the clones of Orionid soldiers wreaked havoc across her homeland. Resilient Heart imprisoned in chains watched as her children were taken away in cages to be sold as trinkets to species dealers on a distant planet.

On September 22nd, 2018, Resilient Heart escaped an Orionid Labor camp with the help of symbiotically linked Bounty Hunters named Candarius Stomp. Candarius Stomp were taking a break from bounty hunting and had decided to rescue children and their parents who had been imprisoned or sold by the Orionid Legion of Horribleness. Although the Legion of Horribleness were given orders to capture Black Stars, over time they realized there was a lot of money to be made stealing and selling children of all types of species, and the amount of labor their parents could do in the prison camps was actually quite lucrative. Overtime the Legion had destroyed thousands of families, separating them and sending them to distant worlds to be put to work or to be sold.

Resilient Heart travelled the universe trying to find her children, they were nowhere to be found. Devastated she cried out for help, as if by some sort of magic a message appeared. It was from The Queen of the Cosmic Womb, using her Help-O-Matic 5000 to send Resilient Heart a data vision transmission: You must go to the Town of Heart, Mind and Spirit.

After some time in the halls of the Interplanetary Library of Anything and Everything, Resilient Heart looked through every book she could trying to figure out what this message could mean. Finally, she figured out that the Queen Kiok wanted her to go to Houston, Earth. You may be wondering, why did the the message have to be cryptic?


It had to be, for she fear it would be intercepted by an Orionid spy.


To avoid being traced by The Legion of Horribleness, Resilient Heart used a form of teleportation called Permanus Astro-migration, piece by piece Resilient Heart teleported her body slowly to Cosmic Womb. It is a painful and long process but it was the only way to get to Earth and avoid being captured by soldiers.


Luckily, JooYoung Choi astro-futurist artist and Cosmic Womb ambassador had been notified by Queen Kiok in an equally cryptic message to watch out for a Black Star in need of help. Using her Help-o-matic 5000 Choi was able to re-direct Resilient Heart’s molecules straight to her art studio.


JooYoung Choi requested the help of citizens of Houston to become members of Team Cosmic Troop #3696 and volunteer as technicians to reassemble Resilient Heart. Quickly the team noticed that the Black Star was too weak and malnourished from her months in the labor camp and that this form of teleportation was injuring her further. It was decided that they would grow her a sentient and loving tree of miracles this symbiote being would help heal her wounds, assist her in walking, and protect her from possible future conflicts with Orionid soldiers. For weeks the team grew hundreds of flowers and mended them to her body. Finally after weeks of sewing, growing and building, they had put Resilient Heart back together. Her health and faith renewed, Resilient Heart was finally ready to search for her children. JooYoung suggested they go to city hall and ask the Mayor.

On October 26th Resilient Heart arrived at city hall, and has been patiently waiting to ask the Mayor if he knows where her children are. Soon, here at city hall she will learn that her children have been located in the outer-realm of the Universe (super far away) and that they enroute to Earth but because children are too weak to undergo Permanus Astro-migration, they are using a much more gentle but slower form of teleportation that will take many more months to ensure a safe and health arrival. She is told that they will arrive on “The Beautiful Mountain” also known as Beaumont by March of 2019 and they will be staying at the abode of Amset, also known as the Art Museum of South East Texas, none other than her new Earth friend JooYoung Choi has been asked by Queen Kiok to design a Reunion Sanctuary inside of her upcoming exhibition “Big Time Dreaming in the Age of Uncertainty” from March 15th to June 29th 2019. Until they arrive, Resilient Heart has decided she will spend a few weeks City Hall learning about Earth culture, before embarking on a top secret mission.


Visit Resilient Heart and the Tree of Miracles

When: October 26 through December 1, 2018

Location: City Hall Rotunda, 901 Bagby Street, Houston TX 77002

Sponsored by Sculpture Month Houston and hosted by Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.



Photos were taken by: Antarctica Black, Sculpture Month Houston, Chandel Bonner-Hancock, Houston Mayor’s office of Cultural Affairs, and the artist.

Additional Links:

Julie Devries - https://juliedevries.tumblr.com/

Gisette Padilla - https://gissettepadilla.weebly.com

Sculpture Month Houston - http://sculpturemonthhouston.org

Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs - https://www.houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs/