Stickymonger - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | Phillips

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  • South Korean-born and now Brooklyn-based artist Stickymonger (also known as Joohee Park) is widely recognised for her larger than life installation creations using hundreds of meticulously stuck-on black vinyl “stickers”. Her friends would call her ‘Sticky’ and people called her the ‘sticker artist’. With a corporate background working in communications at Ogilvy and Mather, she would spend her time between the office and home, from a nine-to-six job to making artworks in her studio apartment. One of her mural projects saw her cosmic girls encasing the windows of the entire 69th floor of the newly built 4 World Trade Center, high above the clouds, transforming an ordinary office location into a dreamlike, eerie space.


    An installation piece created for the 69th floors of the newly built 4 World Trade Center



    Departing from the medium of vinyl since 2015 because of a decision to further expand her visual language into traditional mediums, she began experimenting with acrylic, and water-based spray paint on canvas works since 2018, as evidenced in the present work. Directly influenced by her childhood experience as she grew up amidst the backdrop of a family-owned gas station in Korea, petroleum was something she was constantly exposed to and played with on a daily basis, which explains her passion for the oil in every work she creates.


    The artist in her studio


    “I’m a woman, it’s easy to draw because I always draw something very close to me. I like monsters and weird creatures and I just draw a woman because I’m a woman… Also, whatever I think is funny and weird like personal fears.”
    — Stickymonger 

    Not wanting her female figures to be any kind of a statement, she portrays these fantastical little girls with anime-inspired large eyes, evoking the tension between innocence and fear, femininity and anxiety, and as a result creates a unique visual vocabulary that she herself coins as “creepy-cute”.



    “I draw people with giant holes in their faces because I have no idea what people think.”
    — Stickymonger



    The present lot (detail)



    With no specific references, she imbues her characters with her own personal fears and to her, it’s something that is very innately human. The eyes are a primary subject matter for the artist, something that simultaneously fascinates and frightens her, yet she embraces fully still. It is often quoted from Proverbs in the Bible that “the eye is the window to the soul” and her fascination with ‘holes’ is also represented in the use of dots – there is this sense of being ‘see through’, black little holes are scary because one never knows what is behind them, but at the same time, it is strangely seductive and poses the question of what lies beyond it.


    Stickymonger’s artistic ethos calls to mind another Korean native artist, Kim Jamsan, most famed for his illustrations of children books to accompany the South Korean romantic drama television series in 2020, “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay”. Sharing her interest in creatures and monsters, zombies and fairy tales, his illustrations are also a reflection of how characters overcome their fears and past memories.


    The book cover illustration of The Boy Who Fed on Nightmares by Korean illustrator Kim Jamsan featured in South Korean television drama series “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay”


    No Worry, I Don’t Write But Paint is very much a surrealistic self-portrait of the artist navigating her way though the recent uncertain contemporary times, shifting moods and personal challenges. It is perhaps this very mystical world full of contradictions that she magically conjures up, delightful and disconcerting at once, that offers solace and a temporary shelter for many.


    • Provenance

      Allouche Gallery, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      New York, Allouche Gallery, Stickymonger: Still Smiling, 13 March – 17 April 2021


No Worry. I Don't Write But Paint

signed 'Stickymonger' on the reverse
aerosol paint on canvas
124.5 x 104.1 cm. (49 x 40 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

HK$300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for HK$529,200

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 21 June 2022