KIA Exhibition Opening: Wired and Wrapped: Sculpture by Seungmo Park

Posted: December 11, 2014
Source: Katie Houston
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A new exhibition will open at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts December 20: Wired and Wrapped: Sculpture by Seungmo Park. It is the second of three contemporary shows the KIA is presenting during the 2014-15 season by artists originating in East Asia-China, Korea, and Japan. How to Return: Contemporary Chinese Photography opened November 15. Redefining the Multiple: 13 Japanese Printmakers opens January 17, 2015.

"We have crafted a season that reflects how global contemporary art from East Asia has become," says Director of Collections and Exhibitions Vicki Wright.

A rising presence on the international art scene, Park is a Korean sculptor who maintains studios in Seoul and New York. His work in Wired & Wrapped takes two approaches: ephemeral and object-based, each focused on extreme detail.

His Maya series (Sanskrit for "illusion") features large-scale, dream-like portraits and landscape scenes, created via meticulously cut layers of wire mesh and suspended 4 feet from the gallery walls. The images are photographic in detail, and from any but a direct angle, disappear, hidden within hanging sheets of gray screens. Two pieces on view are evocative female images, Maya 7624 and Maya 1316. Another is a nearly room-sized landscape; creating an interactive photo opportunity, visitors can step behind to become part of the work.

Park's wrapped sculpture is engaging from any angle. For his Human series, the delicate wrinkles and folds of clothing and the sinuous musculature of the human body are revealed via tightly aligned wire wraps. One example in the exhibition is Park Soo Young, a life-sized female nude with appropriately lush "hair." Another is Kim Seong Su, a male nude short in stature, but crafted with a wide, strong stance.

Organized by Gene Jenneman, executive director at the Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City, where it opened this past summer, Wired and Wrapped is Park's first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. He has had solo exhibitions throughout his native South Korea and in Taiwan, London, and New York, and group exhibitions in China, Israel, and India.

"This exhibition is not simply for intellectuals," Jenneman has said. "People, many of whom are not our usual visitors, said they had never seen anything like it."