I use my work to process my emotions about a specific event or series of events, and to give voice to those emotions so that others may “hear” them, too. Much of the work comments on social, political and/or cultural issues, such as war, women's issues, or issues arising from living in a island paradise living off tourism and suffering from how others romanticize the islands and our peoples. I often use beauty as a conceit to entice a viewer to look at an ugly truth that they might otherwise not consider.
I work in multiple kinds of media. I believe that materials have mana, so, whenever possible, I use the media that I feel lends the most meaning to any given project. Though there are not always material similarities between the different projects, they are linked by recurring formal concerns, subject matter. and methodology. Process is always an integral part of the statement and the work.
With digital matrices, mass production is easy, and yet, sometimes unsatisfying to both artist and viewer. Each is looking for something novel and special in art: really the reason that art is created. I believe the most interesting space in photography today is where the artist can combine digital techniques with hand-worked processes to produce one-of-a-kind works.
Every warrior has a weapon; art is mine
Honolulu, HI-based artist Diana Nicholette Jeon spent 10 years working in high tech before returning to school to pursue her first love, art. Perhaps due to her experiences working in California's Silicon Valley, she fell in love with Photoshop when she first encountered it in 1994. In school, she gravitated immediately to digital tools, while still pursuing training in traditional media. She attended the University of Hawaii where she received a BA in Studio Art, then dragged her husband and toddler all the way to Maryland, to pursue graduate work. Jeon was awarded her MFA in Imaging and Digital Art from the University of Maryland at Baltimore County in 2006. Afterward, she and her family happily scampered home to Hawaii, where she spent seven years teaching digital imaging and motion graphics at the college level. In 2013, she decided to plunge into producing her art on a full-time basis.
Jeon's work has been exhibited extensively, venues include the Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the San Diego Art Institute, the Hawaii State Art Museum, Soho Photo, and the Tethys Gallery in Florence, Italy. She has received multiple awards for her work including three Recognition Purchase Awards from the Hawaii State Foundation of Art and Culture; 1st Place at the 38th Annual HJCC Commitment to Excellence, Honorable Mention at the 2016 International Photo Awards, was a finalist the 10th Julia Margaret Cameron awards, in two categories in the 2016 Pollux Awards, 2nd Place at Hawaii Photography 2016 and 1st Place at the 5th Annual Mobile Photo Awards. Jeon’s art has been featured in a wide array of publications, including the Huffington Post, Lens Culture, In the In-Between, The Hand, Don't Take Pictures, Binfeng Space Art/Culture magazine, PhotoPhore, Corriere della Sera, L’arena and the Honolulu Star Advertiser. Her works are in many public and private collections, including the permanent collection of the State of Hawaii Art in Public Places program, the International Printing Museum, the Albert O. Kuhn Library Special Collections Department at University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Haverford College.
- 2007 – 2013 Lecturer, New Media Arts, Kapi'olani Community College, Honolulu, HI (Intro to Digital Art; Digital Imaging; Motion Graphics; Digital Multimedia)
- 2008 – 2010 Lecturer, Art, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI (Expanded Art)
- Spring 2006 Instructor of Record, Printmaking, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Catonsville, MD (Photo-Digital Processes in Non-Toxic Printmaking)
- Fall 2005 Instructor of Record, Printmaking, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Catonsville, MD (Introduction to Non-Toxic Printmaking)
- Spring 2005 Teaching Assistant, Photography, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Catonsville, MD (Time and Sequence)
- Fall 2004 Teaching Practicum, Printmaking, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Catonsville, MD (Introduction to Non-Toxic Printmaking)
- Spring 2000 Instructor, Kapi'olani Community College, Non-Credit Division, Honolulu, HI (Introduction to Photoshop)