JooYoung Choi (b. 1982, Seoul, South Korea) makes videos, paintings, sculptures, and installations that take us back to childhood—and far off into the future—by way of “The Cosmic Womb.” All of the Houston-based artist’s playful, brightly colored works document that fanciful land, which is the setting for narratives that recall bedtime stories, K-pop stage shows, mind-bending trips, and hallucinatory cartoons. Innocence and optimism suffuse the cosmos Choi has constructed, but there is also room for doubt and insecurity. That combination, of losing oneself in the fun only to crash back to earth, gives her utopian fantasies the kick of the real thing. Innocence, her works declare and demonstrate, does not end with childhood: it plays an essential role in adult life, even if most grown-ups shirk the responsibilities—and deny the vulnerabilities—that go with it.

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