February 28 – April 4, 2015
Opening reception: February 28, 2015 6-8PM
Baik Art presents New Structure, a solo exhibition of three-dimensional work by Seoul-based artist Osang Gwon whose art voices the ever-changing roles of photography and sculpture.
The exhibition will consist of large floor-bound sculptures that embody the artist’s idea of “deodorizing” the historical odor photography by filtering it through the third dimension. Two sizeable works are composed of images that have been fused onto several interconnected aluminum plates, which rest on the ground. In another life-sized figurative work the viewer is guided beneath the photo-surface of body forms to explore the deeper meaning of being human. Gwon’s sculptures demonstrate how the objects and events in daily life can change when some of the information that identifies a thing is discarded then recreated using a new complex system.
At the end of 2004 and beginning of 2005, Osang Gwon’s exhibition of artwork (titled Deodorant Type & The Flat), was shown in America for the first time. Two coinciding shows were presented in Los Angeles, one at 4-F gallery in Chinatown and the other at Andrewshire Gallery in Koreatown. During that time, the artist was making both photographs and objects.
He created large-scale photographs by first cutting images of objects (watches, jewelry, cosmetics) from magazine pages, backing the cutouts with a stiff material and attaching petite wire stands to prop them up. He then amassed scores of them into a vast installation. After the installation was arranged, a photograph was taken of the whole setting and a high-resolution print was made that became the final artwork.
In his three-dimensional work, an object or person was photographed head-to-toe, back-to-front from all possible angles. After the views of the subject were snapped, all of the shots were printed showing the different perspectives. Meanwhile, a three-dimensional figure made from rigid polyurethane sculpting foam was hand-carved into a form that replicated the appearance of the original subject. The photographic prints were then carefully fashioned back into an image of the original subject then mapped onto the foam figure. Finally, the whole sculpture was coated with an epoxy resin, which unified everything into a realistic representation of the subject.
In recent years, Gwon’s art has been influenced by the motifs and shapes found in Hindu religious artifacts, traditional Baroque design and Buddhism. Instead of using images cut from multiple magazines as he once did, he now uses Google-searched images from the Internet or more diverse images from a single magazine when he composes. The innumerable objects that once appeared in his photographs have become larger and are now printed using inkjet method.
His artworks still explore the border between two-dimensional and three-dimensional depiction as they did in the past, but now the results he achieves are more delicately poised. It was his use of photography in sculpture that first brought him to prominence, and his sculpture continues to offer each new viewer a chance to experience the world in different ways.