Curator Suechung Koh has organized an international exhibition of five Korean artists and a French artist, all displaying their innermost thoughts and considerations, as well as their artistic skills and abilities. Pure Actions starts with the innermost personalized vision of the artist; quiet and mindful, perhaps a bit too introspective, however, at the same time accessible. Then moves onto the actual pieces where there is no empty showmanship, but finely crafted pieces conveying that vision. Through this journey, a genuine conversation between the artist and that one person viewing the piece takes place.
The drawings of Anese Eun Cho, Suhyun Kim and Jina Chung use nearly universal metaphors that at first thought seem obvious, then through their intimacy and subtle psychological turnings bring a resonance to the viewer. Cho depicts openings in yellow, green and orange at the end of a dark charcoal passage, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel showing us to our future. Honest Drawings by Kim is a grouping of ink drawings of the stereotypical drama of one’s world unraveling in a most comical and visceral way that beckons the viewer to realize that if you can’t laugh, especially at yourself, then you are lost. Chung’s delicate line drawing of a big beautiful flower is constructed by fragments of Korean words and letters. Inherent in the make-up of the drawing and image, is a contradictory inner conflict which is further compounded by the title Manic Depression.
While Jisso Kim and Seungman Park work in completely different materials, Kim with black and white photographic collage and Park with soldered stainless steel, they share a strong affinity. Both works are very formally constructed; each section of stainless steel in Park’s wall sculptures are carefully soldered to another section until elegant branches are fabricated, Kim meticulously cuts and layers the photographs creating elaborate textures and patterns. Both of their compositions are balanced by delicate intricate lines, rich shadows and movement, all interwoven in contemplation of nature and man-made.
Simon Doucet’s sculptures bring together many of the nuances of the exhibition together – he draws upon personal narratives while referencing universal metaphors, his skillful treatment of the figure and abstraction to tell those stories and symbols, and the traditional materials (bronze and marble) finely crafted, epitomize the very concept of “pure actions.” Comet in Transit, of beautiful Botticino marble, one imagines a horizontal piece depicting super fast motion, but not Doucet. First, the piece is a vertical rectangle firmly placed on its pedestal. Secondly, the rectangle is actually two sections of a continuous twist that he has carved. Lastly, the comet is nestled in a hollow near the base. The piece has nothing to do with the common thought of a comet hurtling through space. But, it does have everything to do with “transit” – journey, travel or passage, shared between the artist and the marble with the viewer and the artist.
Pure Actions: Anese Eun Cho, Jina Chung, Simon Douct, Jisoo Kim Suhyun Kim, and Seungman Park.
November 11-30, 2016
Tenri Cultural Institute of New York
Writing by Robert Curcio