Trained in photography and architectural history and theory, Esther Choi’s work adopts different formats: from photographs and artist's books to installations, videos and essays. Bridging disciplines, her work has focused on re-imagining ordinary materials, resources and rituals to probe the historical and philosophical dimensions of social and environmental structures. In her artwork and writing, cultural history and photography are regarded not only as ways to simply record facts, but rather as complex practices of description that can reveal the prevailing ideas, assumptions and experiences of an era.
Her artist's book Le Corbuffet (Prestel, 2019) subversively adopts the format of a functional cookbook to re-tool the cultural canon as "recipes" to explore how historical narratives and values can be consumed, reimagined and reproduced. Nominated for a James Beard Foundation Book Award for photography, the project has been profiled extensively in publications including Saveur, 032C, Vogue, and more. Choi's photographs have been published in T: The New York Times Style Magazine and Dazed and Confused.
Her writing has appeared in Artforum, Art Papers, Journal for Architectural Education, SSENSE and PIN-UP, and in publications for the Walker Art Center, Oslo Triennale / Library Stack and ETH Zürich. She is the co-editor of Architecture at the Edge of Everything Else (MIT, 2010) and Architecture Is All Over (Columbia, 2017; with Marrikka Trotter) that explore issues in contemporary design practice through historical, philosophical and interdisciplinary perspectives.
Choi holds a Ph.D. in Architectural History and Theory from Princeton University, a Master in Design Studies (AP) from Harvard Graduate School of Design, a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Ryerson University.
Her work has received support from the Richard Rogers Fellowship, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Society for Architectural Historians and the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada, among others. She has taught at OCAD University in Toronto, and The Cooper Union and The New School in New York City.