'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...
There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
Jong Oh's artistic practice is quite particular since he does not use a studio but creates minimal sculptures in situ that respond to a given spatial situation. Responding to the nuanced configuration of each site, the artist constructs spatial structures by suspending and interconnecting a limited selection of materials: rope, chains, fishing wire, perspex, wooden and metal rods and painted threads. The elements of the work seem to float, and depending on the spatial relationship of the viewer with it these elements are connected and cross each other or appear as absolutely independent, suggesting additional dimensions to the simple three-dimensional space. Sometimes the threads that suspend these elements are practically invisible and sometimes the artist paints the thread lightly, reinforcing the visual presence of the element. Jong also uses lighting to create his compositions, where real shadows or painted lines by the artist in graphite extend his ethereal structures and favor the effect of optical illusion in a dialogue of lines and planes. His practice defies the traditionally expected assumption in sculpture of dense masses and heavy objects, acting like simple yet complex drawings that point out the particularities of the space they inhabit.
In these paradoxical limits constituted by three-dimensionality and two-dimensionality, consummation and destruction, the spectator's experience becomes a meditation on the whim of human perception. Jong's work is interactive in the sense that the perception and apprehension of each piece by the viewer is achieved only through a deep exploration of it and the negative space resulting from the intervention of the artist.
Oh appeals to the viewer to question their own perception and the way they have to relate to the space that surrounds them, offering a space for meditation and contemplation before the hustle and bustle of contemporary everyday life: a subtle and refined visual haiku about universality and the sound of space.
Jong Oh was born in Mauritania in 1981 and grew up between Spain and South Korea. He currently lives and works in New York, where he graduated in a MFA at the School of Visual Arts after earning his BFA at the Hongik University in Seoul.
Jong has exhibited extensively in the U.S., Korea, Mexico and in Europe. His work belongs to public collections such as the Maxine & Stuart Frankel Foundation in Michigan (US) and the Kablanc Otazu Foundation in Navarra (Spain).
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