Images courtesy of DOOSAN Gallery
Installation view of an exhibition ‘Things: Sculptural Practice’
Has the sculpture evolved along with the discovery of new technology, in the same way as Fine art? How far has the sculpture departed from a traditional lexis? If we were to write down the conditions by which we can categorise sculpture in today’s world, we would notice a striking difference from critical modes of the past. Sue Kim, Sungah Serena Choo, and Jeongyoon Choi, curatorss of the exhibition entitled ‘Things: Sculptural Practice’ which is an outcome of the DOOSAN Curator Workshop, say that the answers to the aforementioned questions lie in the two–dimensional experience of a sculptor. Digital devices have made mankind more sensitive to the feel of flat surfaces due to constant contact. The same goes for sculptors. The initial premise of this exhibition was that sculptors too have been impacted by their relationship to hand-held devices and affected three-dimensional artworks. The artworks here featured in the exhibition constitute sculptures in appearance, but the meaning behind each of the works upends our common definition of sculpture. These objects are the product of an effort to shake up the material and conceptual conditions of sculpture, and as such it may have been more fitting to refer to them as ‘sculpturesque’. The curators of the exhibition do not discer the approach of these young artists as a rebellion against traditional carving methods. Instead, they see it as a natural outgrowth of the desire to create something coupled with the changing conditions of our sense perceptions. However, it goes without saying that the subject, materials, and methods of each sculptor are completely different. In her Material Pool series, Goeun Choi draws certain conditions for sculpture, such as appearance, substance, and size, to the forefront of her work and breaks away from the traditional social context governed by appreciation of the objet d’ art. Goeun Choi cuts into broken down air conditioners and refrigerators to create tables and gives a unique touch to her work by using the manufacturing date on the back of mirrors. Isaac Moon creates sculptures by using the reference points of a flat surface within a 3D production programme, such as top, front, left, as standards, while Jaiyoung Cho creates hollow objects using cardboard. The final product, with its sides linked and interconnected, conjure up the image of cells dividing. The artist maintains neutrality by separating the objects on view with numerical signs. Therefore, the artwork is free from direction, as there is no hierarchy among front, back, top, and bottom.
Those that visit and fail to see the intentions behind the exhibition cannot see the string that connects all the ‘objects’ that appear to have nothing in common with one another. We need to ask ourselves whether we have really seriously given thought to sculpture that we may have waved aside as outdated. Make no mistake, this is not just about ‘sculpture’ in a traditional sense. The exhibition connects sculptures to the flat surface of paintings, and aims to interpret the surreal interface created by digital devices. This exhibition truly puts sculptures in a different light and is extremely intriguing. This exhibition ran between Jan. 11 – Feb. 16.