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Surreal Objects and Cultic Space

In the late 1990s contemporary Korean sculpture underwent a tendency that artworks appropriated three-dimensional quality from two-dimensional or everyday images. As the early cubists made an attempt to dimensionalize flat planes, the conceptions of objects and installations were frequently stated and newly interpreted. In the late 20th century often referred to as the age of images, artificial goods and commodity images are pervasive. In this era these images are represented in forms of objects or installations in space.
This tendency reflects a flow of the times in which the viewer finally evaluates the aesthetic value of artworks. In the period of aesthetic democracy, it is indispensable for the spectator to intervene in the creation and appreciation of works of art. This is why unlike a few artistic prodigies of the past, artists today are hard to show any divine capability in leading aesthetic sensibilities of the public, based on their individual perception and judgment.
In Park Yong-sik's works exhibited now, artificial animals, which are all likely to be set in a theme park, emerge. Park's man-made objects and images make up for the chasm or empty space of our aesthetic sensibilities rather than presenting any emotional experience. His work thus engenders any emotional disorientation. Something unfamiliar, instead of any friendly experience of space, is provided to the viewer. The spectator, if entering the space Park has created, cannot help but relish such disorder.

In this space all people disappear and even if somebody is here, one exists as its setting like an adjunct. As a result, some surreal landscapes are presented in the space where all movements pause for good and only time operates. The imagery Park Yong-sik creates seems to have a mission to distort reality, generating the correlation between viewers and objects. His images are reminiscent of the gaze between subject and object and the frolic of beings. If viewing Park's art merely from this perspective, we come to miss an opportunity to notice his singular individuality and standpoint.

In his 1999 first one-man exhibition entitled "Defend the Earth"Park Yong-sik showed cartoon-like, cultish images in humorous undertones. In his successive exhibitions recently held he seems to conceive a new strategy to protect the earth through his embrace of more meditative objects. Park's adoption of subject matter has altered from cartoon-like cultish objects to somewhat fictitious images presented in his 2003 second solo show "Something & Something". Such imagery continues to this exhibition as well. The exhibition seems to be a serious exploration of the world and cultures around Park Yong-sik and an adventure for seeking his own cultic space, presenting a new version of his object work.

By Kim Noh-am / Director of Art Space Hue

Artist Statement
Hybrid Device

Images from Mass media play as a performer in the space I created. Although in previous work, I carved images of older cartoon characters or showed Custumeplay pictures. I have not used the commercial brand characters in present work. but imagined characteristics of the object and composed as a performer in the real world. Object with distinctiveness and background around fill state of our surroundings within one space. Such a distinctiveness approaches us in weird way, but object's role and surroundings are telling us real state within one actual space. Although a lot of events and objects, materialized in modern life were regarded as real world, but such an actual state exists in the unvisual mixture of mass media effect.

Process to make space is the process and result of my work. Sculpture, object, image and audiences in the gallery are actuality and my whole work composed within one space. The picture composes such several constituents within one flat dimension and makes them images. There are two spaces. One is where the audience can take part in, and the other is where they just can recognize and imagine. Absence of object shows state of virtualer actual existence to the object. Therefore, The object is imagined. It is the object that is produced by system in present age, but its absence talks reality of present life more strongly to us. Because the result that is the photograph can not touch or have the object. It reappears more definitely space of present life as is so. 


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