Search by

In her solo show titled Curtain, the artist Suh Haiyoung presents works inspired by scenes from the real life. In her most recent works we find her studying bones--she shaped fragmented skeletal structures such as bones of the finger, toe, rib and clavicle using resin--perhaps in her search for the very root of art. We also find her creating various forms and structures with bricks, the most typical and smallest unit composing urban buildings. Taking this brick motif to another level, she places it in the context of a temporal and spatial concept, utilizing it to structure an installation, or as an object, or employing it in diverse art forms such as video and painting. These efforts have produced signs and linguistic images that constitute the space in which we lead our lives.

With bones as objects, Suh's approach was primarily conceptual. As she transitioned to the brick motif, her focus shifted to the phenomenology of spatial forms. In these endeavors Suh appears to be exploring the way we perceive things, while minimizing the interference of her subjectivity in the effort. She started off with a conceptual approach (1995-1996), after which she experimented with form and structure (1997-2003). She then returned to the two-dimensional plane, interpreting her object with a focus on the place (2004-2007). Most recently her theme is the everyday space of life, and she is now in the process of revising her interpretations and creating layers of them for a special overlapping effect (2008-2010).

Over the course of 16 years, numerous contexts and views had emerged and were understood from a perspective that was current at each point in time. They now form layers independently or are combined with others in the places in which they are remembered. These times stored in memory are in a way like individual acts in a play or the curtain that closes and opens to signal the change of scene. They also seem like a thin film, each when lifted leads to new perception. These moments will unfold like an unrealistic space that exists only as a function of one's subjective interpretation. The bricks, which were seen as the visual corridor between the secret room and the open square, serve as the interface between the two different spaces. Seen from afar, the bricks generate a mysterious aura like a film of halftone dots. Suh's bricks were taken out of the buildings they were part of and flown behind the curtains that are drawn in the back of the plane. The moving in and out and back in, or the alternation of inhalation and exhalation builds itself with time into a theatrical panorama.

The sub-themes of this drama are: Fiesta for Nocturn 1 & 2, , A Square, A Shot of Cogitation 3, A Garden in Ruins, andDormant Dialogue. Each theme is composed of what the artist has seen and/or felt as she commuted between her home and studio everyday. Each fleeting yet memorable scene is recorded on the artist's body like a diary, leaving traces that pile up layer after layer. The scenes in and of themselves are quite mundane. The images of flowers, people, squares, libraries, roads, mountains, and buildings are metaphorically translated onto a canvas, a place, or another dimension of the curtain to build a site-specific structure. Place, in this context, symbolizes the response to deficiency that exists in today's society and space. The Curtain is the relationship that cohesively holds together the outcomes and the simultaneity of what is happening here and now. The canvas that serves as a platform for the Place and the Curtain is itself the phantom emerging from that 0.2cm thickness and its stage, the artist's body and the wall all at the same time.

In this Curtain, the vanishing point has been split and deconstructed, its fragments hiding on the other side of the Curtain. The pictorial plane serves as an important medium. It connects two or three points in space in a plausible way and invokes a specter of an unnatural place she pursues. There is visible irony in juxtaposing in a single place seemingly random objects that are both familiar and strange. She has also imbued a sense of consistency in what is site-specific by the use of the Curtain and the Film. The two layers are intertwined and can invoke all spaces and phenomena Suh may have perceived. As expressed in Fiesta for Nocturn 2and A Garden in Ruins, the point at which time and place freezes is in the other world where one may go on imagining about the next Act and the next Chapter. Suh Haiyoung has laid out for our enjoyment a phantasmagoric world consisting of layers and layers of a life peaceful, quiet and mundane. We need only to accept the invitation.

By Kwan-Hoon Lee / Curator Project Space Cafe Salvia
Quick Page Up