The colourful geometric print of a gown, distorted by darting; the physique beneath a loose-fitting, plaid button-down obscured within the billowing cloth; a sternly patterned heavy curtain, its pale jade, floral pleated chintz bisected by a pearlescent, plastic material chain. Every of those works by the late Korean artist Kang Seok Ho depicts a placid but relentless current — there isn’t a narrative, no relational reference level, however quite a endless now.
Exploring each the various depth of phantasm in addition to the methods wherein meanings are positioned upon representations, the work in Kang’s exhibition at Tina Kim Gallery, exhibited for the primary time in the USA, take their time to elicit a deeper commentary on our all-seeing age, an act of sluggish wanting not often requested of viewers. As our consideration turns into rationed into more and more shrinking parcels, it may be troublesome to permit the act of wanting itself to grow to be the expertise. Kang asks viewers to watch and uncover the main points throughout the interior areas of course of and depiction, a request that when fulfilled yields important dividends.
Kang’s apply defiantly challenges passive wanting, questioning not solely what it’s we would like out of our pictures, but additionally how and why our representations accrue which means. The entire works within the exhibition function materials as the primary topic, within the type of practical draperies and clothes in typically tightly cropped views, with out acknowledging the narrative of their unidentified hosts beneath. Kang’s work undertaking a way of photographic seriality — every alluding to an unseen earlier than and after. The imagery is in actual fact sourced from images, a number of which is offered in a vitrine, with the ensuing views masked with tape for a simplified view that shears away the specificity of their references and exposes the nameless magnificence of every composition.
In “Untitled” (2004), a tightly cropped view of a person’s torso maybe caught mid-stride is offered with a swimsuit jacket unbuttoned and a belt buckle partially obscured by the rippling shirt. Focal factors oscillate between the fragile weaving of the material and the way in which it cuts and folds over the physique. The person’s hand is vague, insinuated. Missing the complete context, viewers are confronted by the anonymity of the scene.
In Kang’s works, imaginative and prescient is lionized as our assumptions for its utility are excavated, the strata examined and reappraised. Ingrained into the feel of those canvases is an open-ended proposition, an try to reclaim what’s misplaced within the communicative jitter of contemporaneity, an aspiration to unite the fleeting and the everlasting in extraordinary concord: to look and to see.
Kang Seok Ho: Deep is the rising sun, far is the falling one continues at Tina Kim Gallery (525 West twenty first St, Chelsea, New York) by means of August 11. The exhibition was organized by the gallery.