The varied and theatrical practice of SungHong Min is filled with uncanny absurdities in detailed installations that meditate on what is visible and what's hidden in the contemporary social landscape.Read More
SungHong Min was born in 1972 in South Korea. He graduated from Chu-Gye University for the Arts, Seoul, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1999. Five years later, he received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute.
For both his undergraduate and graduate degrees, SungHong Min specialised in painting, however, even early works such as The Island (2002) include sculptural elements. Over the course of his career to-date, the artist has retained a painterly approach while working predominantly in the three-dimensional.
SungHong Min's sculptural vocabulary spreads out into a diverse range of intricate and often site-specific approaches. Gathering together items generally regarded as detritus to forge new connections and meanings between objects, the artist reflects on visibility and invisibility in photo collage, drawing, sculpture, and installation.
The concept of overlapping is key, both conceptually and materially, to SungHong Min's practice. In his 'Overlapped Sensibility' series, this motif is combined with his recurring use of the figure of the bird as an allegorical stand-in for the human social ecosystem.
In Overlapped Sensibility: Imbued (2015), a bird stands like a weathervane at the top of an illuminated roof structure, while a flock huddles inside. A birdhouse cast from a human home, the structure is architecturally reminiscent of medieval churches.
In Overlapped Sensibility: Carousel (2015), the birds reappear as ceramic bird heads resting atop wooden plinths of different shapes and sizes. The collection of figures is perched within a white motorised carousel, in reference to writer Haruki Murakami's description of the carousel as a metaphor for the fixed cycles of life, on which humans are trapped until death.
The connections and divergences between the natural and the constructed landscape represents another cornerstone of SungHong Min's practice. Through a re-examination of standard interpretations of landscapes in the 'Drift' series, the artist seeks to reintroduce an uncertainty to the viewer's perspective.
In Drift_Atypical (2020), SungHong Min has rearranged and combined landscape painting fragments into tent-like structures. These large, suspended shapes are covered in a grid and ringed by tassels, pulling them between the worlds of the clinical, the domestic and the majestic.
For Drift_Exercise for variability (2020), Min has gathered discarded landscape paintings, folded and sewn them, and layered grids on top, offering a literal and conceptual reframing of the landscape.
SungHong Min has been the recipient of multiple residencies and awards. In 2023, SungHong Min was announced as one of 13 artists chosen for the Korean Artists Abroad programme supported by Korea Arts Management Service. In the same year, SungHong Min received the Pakdongjun Prize (Visual Arts), P.D.J Memorial Foundation, Daegu (2023); he also received the SeMA Nanji Residency, Seoul (2020); and the Woomin Art Award, Woomin Foundation, Cheongju (2019).
SungHong Min has been the subject of both solo and group exhibitions.
Group exhibitions include: Grid Island, Seoul Museum of Art (2022); Museum Access: Through the Eco-Corridor, Gyunggi-do Museum of Modern Art (2022); the Gwangju Biennale (2018); and D.N.A., Daegu Art Museum (2016).
SungHong Min's website can be found here
Articles on SungHong Min have been published in various journals, magazines, and newspapers, including ARTnews.
Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2023