Arario Gallery Shanghai is proud to announce the opening of the artist Osang Gwon’s solo exhibition “The Sculpture” at 5:00 PM, November 7, 2016. Osang Gwon (b. 1974) is the representative Asian artist in the contemporary sculpture art. His works are constantly challenging and updating the definition and boundary of sculpture. As observing from an aerial view of art history, the artist expands each of his series as a discourse on the nature of sculpture in the contemporary context.
This exhibition is the first solo exhibition of Osang Gwon in Shanghai, as well as the second solo exhibition in China since 2007. Arario Gallery will show Osang Gwon’s most recent experiments of New Structure and Relief series, along with his other important serial works, including Deodorant Type, The Flat, and The Sculpture series. These several series to be shown this time form a logically well-defined map, examining the different topics about the possibilities of sculpture, and fully showing the artist’s exploratory journey and philosophy in his artistic career.
Deodorant Type series are the most renowned “photo-sculpture” works of Osang Gwon that was initiated since 1998. This series opened the discussions centered on the medium of sculpture. The artist shoots and pastes more than a thousand photos of multiple angles on a piece of sculpted Styrofoam, suggesting the planar photography into a medium of three-dimensional sculpture. He recreates the conventional sculpture subject of human body and still life using modern lightweight materials, instead of such high-density materials as bronze, clay or marble.
The Flat series represents a leap-forward experiment playing between the two-dimensionality and the three- dimensionality. After composing the cut-out images from magazines in three-dimensional, the artist once again converts the structures into the form of photography. In this way, the boundaries between the surface and volume, reality and illusion, recording and representation are repeatedly weakened and re-established.
The following The Sculpture series looks back upon the art history, representing a series of works bearing the idealizing nature of Renaissance and paying homage to the modern spirit of Rodin. The three pieces of Torso to be unveiled at this exhibition are the representatives of The Sculpture series, in which the motorcycle was reproduced by the artist using the traditional sculpture material of clay. The idea of “Torso” originated from Rodin. A torso comes out of but transcends the entirety. It eliminates the redundancies and enlarges the tension of expression. Osang Gwon’s motorcycle shares the same idea as Rodin’s torso, just like depicting the most ideal human body by leaving out the tires and grips, retaining only the most perfect ratio of the vehicle. However, the finish of the motorcycle that should otherwise be polished and smooth carries the marks of chipping and gouging deliberately. As if a painter leaves a stroke of painting, thus making the sculpture a full medium of creation.
New Structure and Relief, the two new series made in recent years evolved from the previous approach, explore the alternation between two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality, reconstructing time and space. New Structure, inspired by Alexander Calder’s Stabile, presents non-narrative large structures in front of the audience, forcing us to seek the time and space that change along with the dazzling structures. Relief, the wooden structure works, confront the audience with overwhelming enlarged images and flooding information that the artist selected from the iconic design magazine Wall Paper.
Getting the motif from the contemporary visual life based on the internet, mass media, and commercial advertisement, Osang Gwon’s sculpture is also dealing with the contemporary life. Especially, the piling and overlaying of the images of products that present the materialism and consumerism in The Flat series, as well as the thousands of photos adopted to complete his Deodorant Type, both reveal how much we are addicted to the virtual images in the nowadays society.
During this exhibition, Arario will use an entire floor in the three-level space to reproduce the scene of the artist’s studio. Hundreds of models and materials from Osang Gwon’s Seoul studio will take stock of the artist’s approach to creation, explore the multidimensional nature of vision, and lead the audience to the rich possibilities of sculpture in the contemporary context.
About the artist
Osang Gwon has been holding his solo exhibitions internationally from east to west, including Waterfall Gallery, New York, the United States in 2016, Arario Gallery Seoul, Korea in 2016, Arario Museum in Tapdong Bike shop, Jeju, Korea in 2015, Okinawa Contemporary Art Center, Okinawa, Japan in 2015, HADA Contemporary, London, United Kingdom in 2013, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, United Kingdom in 2008. He also showed his works in important group exhibitions such as in National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea in 2015, Busan Biennale in 2014, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore in 2014, Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art in 2014, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China in 2010, The National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia in 2010, Summerset House, London, United Kingdom in 2010. Recently, he also actively collaborates with the international brand such as Hermes, Macallan, and Jaguar.
His works has been collected by major institutions including Arario Museum, Busan Museum of Art in Korea, Embassy of Switzerland, Korea, Leeum Sanmsung Museum of Art, Seoul Museum of Art, Singapore Art Museum, The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea.
About the exhibition
Dates: Nov 7, 2016 – Jan 26, 2017
Opening: Nov 7, 2016, 17:00, Monday
Venue: Arario Gallery Shanghai
Courtesy of the artist and Arario Gallery Shanghai, for further information please visit www.arariobeijing.com.