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Kim Tschang-Yeul: Art Without Ego Ocula Conversation Kim Tschang-Yeul: Art Without Ego

Kim Tschang-Yeul turns 90 this December, following an illustrious career that played a crucial role in bringing post-war Korean painting into the modern and contemporary art canon. Long celebrated for pensive depictions of water drops, the esteemed artist uses dual languages of abstraction and hyperrealism to articulate the psychological traumas...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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In a Year of No Future: Cyberpunk at Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun Ocula Report In a Year of No Future: Cyberpunk at Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun 22 Nov 2019 : Emily Verla Bovino for Ocula

In what was reportedly Tokyo's cloudiest summer in over a century this July, Yoshiji Kigami, key animator of the cyberpunk classic Akira (1988), died in an arson attack that killed 35 people at Kyoto Animation. The attacker lit the fire with a lighter after dousing the studio with gasoline. 'They are always stealing', he explained in the belief the...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

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...

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Koji Ryui

b. 1976, Japan

Best known for his intricate contemporary art installations using found objects, Japanese artist Koji Ryui's practice is preoccupied with the undiscovered potential in ordinary things. His artworks recontextualise their contents, shifting the viewers' perspective of objects' formal or even sonic qualities.

In the tradition of artists such as Fischli and Weiss, and aligned with contemporaries such as Hany Armanious and Kate Newby, Ryui turns simple items such as the humble clothes-drying rack into investigations of materiality. Often these transformations occur by placing two or more everyday objects in conversation with each other, such as the tinsel and wire of Smiley face (2014), or the filler, found stool and concrete of Mother (2014). In Cloud 2 (2014), a block of dirty polystyrene balances precariously on a section of a rack. With this simple gesture, the artist takes two pieces of junk and transforms them into an exploration of weight and weightlessness.

In Jamais Vu (2018), Ryui's site-specific installation presented on Cockatoo Island for the 21st Biennale of Sydney in 2018, the artist laid out what could be a constellation of the universe made from poly-coated wire and found spherical objects. This cosmic map was suspended from the ceiling across the entire space, while beneath, found glass vessels of various shapes sat on a large, low plinth. During the exhibition, Ryui also teamed up with musician Anna John for a sound performance within his installation.

Ryui's transformation of found items is most evident in his 'Have a Nice Day' (2013-14) series. In these works, Ryui focuses on the plastic shopping bags with a smiley-face printed on them, found at many stores across the world. He distorts the bag's smile by filling it with a cylinder of clay, giving the face a new range of emotions. Often presented in pairs, these faces inspire a sense of pathos in the viewer, especially when, for example, the figures bury their faces in the sand, peer precariously over the edge of the plinth on which they're perched, or find their head stuck in a wine glass. In these gestures, the viewer is pushed to project a new humanity onto the junk that populates their lives.

In his 'A-Un' (2016–17) series of sculptures, Ryui pushes the figurative element in his artwork even further, creating small busts out of unfired and bisque-fired clay. The busts rest on gypsum cement plinths attached to the walls. The plinths have been moulded in shapes reminiscent of polystyrene packaging, referencing the readymade elements present across other facets of his practice. While sculptural busts as a traditional form are generally valued as realistic and regal, the scale, materiality and often comical expressions of these busts reshape the form with the playful approach that defines much of the artist's practice.

Ryui lives and works in Sydney.

Biography by Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2019
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Featured Artworks

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Judo by Koji Ryui contemporary artwork
Koji RyuiJudo, 2019 Besser block, found glassware, PVA, iron sand, glazed ceramic
120 x 19 x 19 cm
Sarah Cottier Gallery
Bee by Koji Ryui contemporary artwork
Koji RyuiBee, 2019 Concrete, found objects, PVA, sand
84 x 30 x 30 cm
Sarah Cottier Gallery
Citadel by Koji Ryui contemporary artwork
Koji RyuiCitadel, 2019 Wood, found objects, PVA, sand, light fitting
121 x 20 x 20 cm
Sarah Cottier Gallery
Tip of the tongue by Koji Ryui contemporary artwork
Koji RyuiTip of the tongue, 2019 Glass, PVA, sand, white clay, oxide, enamel, found objects (shell, fluff), light fixtures, MDF, acrylic paint
129 x 110 x 40 cm
Sarah Cottier Gallery
Birds of Paradise by Koji Ryui contemporary artwork
Koji RyuiBirds of Paradise, 2018 Besser block, sand, PVA, found glassware, light fitting, epoxy, tempera pigment
80 x 19 x 21 cm
Sarah Cottier Gallery
Safe Haven by Koji Ryui contemporary artwork
Koji RyuiSafe Haven, 2018 Besser block, sand, PVA, found glassware, polystyrene
73 x 40 x 21 cm
Sarah Cottier Gallery
CMYK by Koji Ryui contemporary artwork
Koji RyuiCMYK, 2018 Besser block, sand, PVA, found glassware, found ceramics, clay, water, glaze, epoxy, ochre
107 x 19 x 19 cm
Sarah Cottier Gallery
Clairvoyance by Koji Ryui contemporary artwork
Koji RyuiClairvoyance, 2018 Besser block, sand, PVA, found glassware, light fitting, found ceramic object
85 x 25 x 23 cm
Sarah Cottier Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

View All (5)
Contemporary art exhibition, Koji Ryui & John Spiteri, Chaperone at Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney
Closed
17 October–16 November 2019 Koji Ryui & John Spiteri Chaperone Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Silver Jubilee at Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney
Closed
2 May–15 June 2019 Group Exhibition Silver Jubilee Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Group Show #39 at Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney
Closed
18 January–9 February 2019 Group Exhibition Group Show #39 Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Roppongi Crossing 2013: Out Of Doubt. A Retrospective On A Retrospective Ocula Report Roppongi Crossing 2013: Out Of Doubt. A Retrospective On A Retrospective 19 Feb 2014 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

It took some time to reflect on Roppongi Crossing 2013: OUT OF DOUBT, and for good reason. This was the fourth edition of a triennial exhibition established in 2004 by the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. It was a sprawling retrospective of sorts, which differed to past iterations in that the focus––usually trained on young artists born in...

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In Related Press

The 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) announces first 21 artists for its 45th anniversary exhibition Related Press The 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) announces first 21 artists for its 45th anniversary exhibition 6 April 2017

The world-renowned Biennale of Sydney is back next year to celebrate its 45th anniversary exhibition. Set to maintain its status as the largest and best-attended contemporary arts event in Australia, the 21st Biennale of Sydney is anticipated to once again bring an impressive and diverse range of contemporary artists and artworks to the...

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Koji Ryui at Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney Related Press Koji Ryui at Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney art guide Australia : 17 November 2016

A pebble, a metal pipe, a broken piece of a statue: these are the kinds of unwanted everyday objects that Koji Ryui collects for his practice.He likes them destabilised and disintegrated, stranded between the status of object and material. Through swift and gestural, seemingly improvisational interventions, he turns these lost causes into...

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