"Seung Yul Oh transforms childhood memories into surreal, large-scale installations. His whimsical works experiment with colour, materials and movement as he reanimates games and toys by exaggerating their familiar scale." 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
In Huggong, Seung Yul Oh presents two oversize inflatable sculptures squeezed into Starkwhite's downstairs gallery. Compressed between floor and ceiling, the balloon-shaped sculptures press up against walls, bulge around columns and crowd into a corner space under a staircase. Composed in vibrant orange and yellow, the glossy surface of the works reflect pastel washes of colour into nooks and crannies created by the swelling forms.
Huggong follows a recent performance at the Auckland Art Gallery in Made Active: The Chartwell Exhibition
where visitors were invited to take up positions throughout the gallery and blow up balloons until they exploded. Footage from the performance has been incorporated into his ongoing video work The ability to blow themselves up, which will be screened at Starkwhite for the duration of the exhibition.
Born in Seoul, Korea in 1981, Seung Yul Oh moved to New Zealand 15 years ago and completed an MFA at Auckland University's Elam School of Fine Arts. He now divides his time between Auckland and Seoul.
Recent exhibitions include: sologroup
, ggool, Seoul (2011); Social Animals
, Space 15th Seoul, curated by Kyung Min Lee (2011); Constellation
, 4A Centre for Contemporary Art, Sydney, curated by Aaron Seeto (2011); Bok
(with Jeff Nusz) Physics Room, Christchurch (2011); Seung Yul Oh
, Artspace project at the Melbourne Art Fair (2010), curated by Emma Bugden; Bogle Bogle, TheNewDowse
(2010), with curator Claire Renault; Oddooki
, Sculpture Court, Te Papa The Museum of New Zealand, curated by Charlotte Huddleston (2008/2009); Telecom Prospect 2007: New Art New Zealand exhibition at the City Gallery, Wellington curated by Heather Galbraith; Break: Construct
at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, curated by Rhana Devenport (2007); Bearing, Te Tuhi The Mark
, with curator Emma Bugden (2007); 5 4 3 2 1 Auckland Artists Projects at the Auckland Art Gallery, curated by Ngahiraka Mason (2006); CHEW CHEW Tongue
, at Starkwhite (2006); Snake oil, Recent Acquisitions from the Chartwell Collection,
Auckland Art Gallery (2005) curated by Robert Leonard; Artspace New Artists exhibition, Compelled
(2005), curated by Rhana Devenport.
Oh won the Goldwater Art Award in 2003 and the Waikato National Art Award in 2005. Last year he was invited by Choi Jeong Hwa to take up a residency at the artist-run space ggool in Seoul and he was the recipient of the 2011 Harriet Friedlander New York Residency Award administered by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.
Press release courtesy Starkwhite.