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League of Their Own
Suited salary men grouped in twos and threes advent their way through the cave, up the tree, and across a bed of stream. The men wearing suit as uniform and the environment create a remarkable collation. The enigma between the characters' attire and environment are formed by the characters' longing to escape from their former placement in society. Many have dreamt of such escape and expedition but because of the suffocating time schedule of corporate organization, this desire seems to be one hard to grasp.

In the series <Process> Oh Sang Taek stages typical individuals' subconscious desires of liberating oneself from work through theatrical performances. This series are like scenes from a dream, in a sense unacquainted but mostly a familiar yet a distinctive fantasy. Like a hope of overcoming the impossible, it is as if his work allows you to search through your past and the things left behind. It also is a portrayal of the artist's journey through the real and the unreal as illustrated through such theatrical settings in an uninhabited area.
Unlike the work <Process> Brain Factory's latest exhibition <Sports> are not staged but are captures of amateur athletes competing in their games. Sports is an emblem of survival. In sports, each athlete must give their optimal strength to finish their race. This notion follows along in our process in life. Oh Sang Taek projects himself through the characters in the photo and reflects his personal will in life. If the series <Process> enact the suited army, universally known as the father army, taking adventures for themselves; <Sports> portray the perspiring athletes giving their utmost strength, fiercely moving, trying to adhere to their personal desire in life.
In Oh Sang Taek's photographs it is crucial to note the relations between the background and the figure. In <Process> the black suited men with briefcases in relation to the ravines in the forest depict discordance as well as the unexpected. This discordance create symbolic narratives such as escape, liberation, venture, and challenge. This crucial note carries on in the series <Sports>the location and the characters' organic relation is the conclusive factor. In <Sports> Oh Sang Taek overlaps two different scenes into one situation, a single event. Photographing the foreground, the athletes, and the background, audience, separately in two different focus Oh Sang Taek screens it digitally into a single image. Background and the athlete play their given roles in their designated space.
In placing two separate frames into a single screen convey the allowance of sighting two situations at once. Still life of the suspended background depict a complete objective standpoint of the audience and such atmosphere gives polarizing aura when glancing at the fiercely endeavoring expressions of the athletes. The jumping athlete, alone, void of all sound, carries forth the absolute weight of the competition. Each of us live our lives in 'our personal stage' and we run forth for our personal purposes in life like the athletes whom desperately run forth perspiring to fulfill the empty benches, backstage.
In the artwork of Oh Sang Taek the main characters are all anonymous, irrelevant and are as well ordinary. Although these characters are staged as main they are far from the fancy 'spot-light'. The advent of their story isn't always of great interest. At a point in time some bloom out from their daily languor and are magically drenched in spotlight, but for the usual their backs and shoulders are as if drenched in such old pop song 'Life of a Vagabond.' The competing athletes are not the next upcoming Olympian. They are only completing in the 'League of their Own' that is stressed upon by few to none. The reason Oh Sang Taek's intentions are universally unquestionable is because we ourselves are faced with 'our personal stage' everyday where we are always the main character and it is always our obligation to take responsibility for it.
By EunJoo Lee / Independent Curator, Art History

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