Esther M. Choi applies her training as an historian to her work as an artist. Her multidisciplinary practice, which spans photography, time-based media, installation, and writing, explores how concepts of nature and the cultural politics of modern worldmaking practices affect notions of identity, subjectivity, and relationality. Related themes are examined in her academic research, which investigates how 19th and 20th century entanglements between modern art, architecture, and the life sciences positioned cultural practices as technologies of life.
Choi is a 2022-2023 Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Art. She is currently a Mentor for NEW INC at the New Museum in New York City.
Choi is the creator of a social practice project called Office Hours that cultivates free knowledge sharing by and for artists, designers, and cultural practitioners who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Since 2020, people representing the global majority have joined Office Hours' 40+ events online from over 22 nations/ territories.
Le Corbuffet (Prestel, 2019), Choi's artist's cookbook, reconfigures still life food photography as a satirical medium for cultural critique; it was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2020. Choi has participated in exhibitions at venues such as The Camera Club of New York; Angell Gallery, Toronto; Fonderie Darling, Montréal; Venice Biennale 14th International Architecture; Lisbon Triennial; Texas State Galleries; and University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her artwork has been featured in 032C, Elephant, Artnet, Tatler Asia, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, New York Magazine, PIN-UP, and more. Her editorial photography has been published in T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Le Monde, Another Man, Dazed and Confused, Vice, and The New York Times Magazine.
She is the co-editor of Architecture At the Edge of Everything Else (MIT Press, 2010) and Architecture Is All Over (Columbia U, 2017). Choi's writing has been published in Artforum, E-Flux Architecture, Art Papers, Journal of Architectural Education, and Architectural Review. Her work has received support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Richard Rogers Fellowship, Graham Foundation, Society of Architectural Historians, Getty Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, and The Ford Foundation, among others.
Choi holds a PhD from Princeton University. Prior to Princeton, she earned an MDes AP in Architectural History/ Theory from Harvard Graduate School of Design, an MFA in Photography from Concordia University, and a BFA in Photography from Toronto Metropolitan University.