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So to Speak, ‘Sculpture’ was Light

‘Remains’, ‘Container’, ‘Burden’, ‘Shell’, and ‘Light’. In retrospect the motifs of Soyoung Park’s sculpture so far broadly, the sculptures during her study in Germany were ‘remains’(“RemainsⅠ, Ⅱ”, 1991) of the present and a ‘monument’(“A Monument for Unknown Artists”, 1993) with empty contents.
While she had been embodying ‘concept’ after return home as an extension of works to study abroad, her sculpture already became just a container to include artist’s logic, and in certain moment she might feel that the notion, logic, and also stiff critical attitude are like unidentified ‘burden’(“Mass”, 2001/2003). And what is exhibited to us at a turning point of the process is “The Shell of Sculpture”(2000) that I’d like to call Soyoung Park’s remarkable work.
Strictly speaking, her work itself made of attaching artificial flowers inside of a FRP can is not outstanding but the persistent attitude to push ‘the identity of sculpture’ to a kind of ‘decorated flowers’ is remarkable. The thing not to be realized for her up to that though she is always honest; namely what to make even herself deceive during the continuous work to ask ‘what is sculpture?’, is that sculpture is not visible signifier(shell) but untouchable signified(truth/light, das Licht). For that reason, Soyoung Park had wandered around the shell of sculpture by that time. It was not until when she arrived at the shell of sculpture that she might realize ‘sculpture’ was light not to grab by hand and to tempt her always through moving off from a distance.

For the first time, sculpture encouraged an unknown artist, Soyoung Park to criticize it boldly by pretending to be ‘remains’ put on the pedestal of traditional dignity, and urged ‘the artist who try to secure the maximum of value with rigid judge-like viewpoint’(Jisook Paik ) to fill concepts in it by showing like a hollow container. ‘Sculpture’ to train a sculptor named Soyoung Park comes down to shell level by itself and leads her to find ‘the reasonable identity of sculpture’. Therefore the motives of her sculpture such as remains, a container, burden and shell were arisen from sculpture. Thanks to chasing and being chased of ‘sculpture’ and ‘a sculptor, we become to appreciate the maximized(or minimized) world of sculpture reaching to ‘shell’. Nevertheless her works are well made(so it is) just flashing as much as they need because of her sufficiently tensed attitude, they don’t shake tremendously our central nerve of sense. Although her works demand agreement to our recognition and enlarge it, they still didn’t come to ‘sculpture’. So to speak, ‘the light(das Licht) of sculpture’ declining 15 degrees like 10 a.m. wasn’t in the middle.(“House”, 2003)

Soyoung Park is supposed to show a “Shell” series of works and “Light” works adopted light as a new factor in the same way. A “Shell” series to be achieved by the collection of fake leaves, printed on transparent films as a organic form, looks aesthetic itself. One of a “Shell” series with beautiful red color and voluptuous curves - that made me regard as the surface of fire if it is - seems to reach ‘the light of sculpture’ which she didn’t arrive as yet although a sculptor Soyoung Park had asked and pursued. That is emitting red light in the form not to represent anything as the absolute notion radiates its light even in extreme abstraction. This “Shell” series of works can multiply without limit if only pieces of film are added and it comes to the eyesight of audience, gathering the light of surrounding and shining by itself simultaneously because of its glossy material, vinyl.

Not being satisfied with the light, Soyoung Park stepped up. As the result, a “light” series, sculpture radiating by itself, was born. Fluorescent lamps or an incandescent lamps are very dazzling in front of the surface covered with fake leaves regularly and entirely on the frame of a ready made lampshade or a parabolic antenna for satellite broadcasting. These pieces of sculpture bring up the image of Dan Flavin’s minimal sculpture in a flash at the point of using ready made lighting fixtures. But it is distinguished as an aspect that they throw a light to the inside and outside of manual arts. Unlike the minimal fluorescent lamp sculpture which mechanical repetition of industrial products realizes in the space phenomenologically, her “Light” is sculpture containing light in its inside and makes handmade beautiful shell get to sculpture.

Eventually Soyoung Park’s sculpture seems shine up to “Shell” and “Light” and we might be content with her sculpture through the light not only reasonably but also sensuously. Sculpture as ‘always present’ meaning is what she will ask continuously but a light of sculpture looks like shining brightly in a moment here.

By Sumi Kang / Aesthetics

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