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Artist Choi Jeong Hwa has been a feature of the international contemporary art scene since the early 1990s; the Los Angeles Times named him "the internationally recognised leader of Korea's pop art movement." His aesthetic is large, bright, and surreal; he has been called a Korean Jeff Koons. While his work includes found objects and abstract installations, Choi often designs flowers and trees. As he says, his botanic work "honors the beauty of nature, and the need for imagination when living in urban cultures with a diminishing natural aesthetic." Choi's work has been exhibited around the world, including Biannuals in Venice, Italy; São Paulo, Brazil; Liverpool, England; and Gwangju, South Korea.
Left: Breathing Flower is one of Choi's signature pieces, in which a vinyl lotus blossom slowly inflates to bloom, then collapses. It was an installation piece at the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010), and has been commissioned for this year's Perth International Arts Festival (2012).