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HWANG Sueyon

Installation view_ARARIO GALLERY SEOUL_01

ARARIO GALLERY SEOUL presents HWANG Sueyon’s (b. 1981) solo exhibition Magma from February 29 (Thu) to April 20 (Sat), 2024. This exhibition presents new works consisting of 3 sculptures and 10 2-dimensional sculptures. HWANG’s works are a reinterpretation of the physical performances related to social media short-form content, utilizing one-minute videos that captivate the public by transforming everyday subjects—like the intricate fabrication processes of consumer goods or the tranquil daily existence of wildlife—into visually engaging narratives. HWANG undertakes a meticulous process of recreating images from these videos into tangible sculptures. In the actual process of creation, images are reinterpreted through her physical prowess and the tangible constraints of the real world. The exhibition highlights HWANG’s exploration of varied expressions and techniques, building on the themes of her previous works deeply ingrained with a fascination for the substance of materials and the performative nature of sculptural acts.

HWANG Sueyon, Sloth on the Asphalt (2024), 3D print, 70 x 107 x 33 cm

“Magma”, in its state as molten rock, is believed to be a hefty yet slinky, solid yet fluid existence. This duality reflects magma’s inherent rock-like characteristics alongside its capacity to liquefy under extreme heat. The exhibition Magma by HWANG Sueyon is intrinsically connected to these fundamental qualities of magma. In this exhibition consisting of 3 sculptures and 10 2-dimensional sculpture, HWANG presents variations from a point slightly divergent from the trajectory of her previous works, appearing similar yet distinctly different.

HWANG Sueyon, Bad Racket “…” (2024), Stainless steel, wire, color spray, steel, 157 x 200 x 90 cm, 2 pcs.

The 3 sculptures featured in the exhibition are the result of the artist selecting specific images captured from short-form content on social media, then reinterpreting and physically realizing these images through performances using her own body. The easily accessible short-form content images in daily life have existed as numerous fluid potentials for HWANG, and she has been particularly drawn to videos showing manufacturing processes of various items in the world. HWANG interfered with these moving images and she extracted sculptural elements within them to create three-dimensional sculptures. In this process, the artist’s body intervened in a mimicking manner, and the shape or attributes of the subjects within the short-form content were reborn as new sculptures embedded with personal experience and interpretation. For example, the work Bad Racket ”…”(2024) was inspired by a short-form video about the manufacturing process of a badminton racket. By performing the production process herself, the artist’s sculptural concerns and exceptional attempts during this process led to an outcome that, while seemingly similar, resulted in a very different form.

HWANG Sueyon, Disable Format (2024), Jesmonite, epoxy, steel, 56 x 60.5 x 2.5 cm

The 2-dimensional sculpture are presented in two series, each utilizing die-cut molds and clay as the main materials. The ‘Die-Cut Mold’ series demonstrates the subtleties of spatial composition that interpenetrates between three dimensions and planes by arranging die-cut molds in jesmonite and adding acrylic mediums or coatings. This series, also derived from short-form content, acts as prototypes that are cut and produced, and abstractly expands the fluid productivity of die-cut molds by adding new properties to them. This abstraction process transcends the functional limits of die-cut molds, creating tension on the canvas through their arrangement and composition, and the blend with new materials. The other series, ‘Clay Mind,’ is fascinating in that it is a sculpture that expresses painterly qualities using clay. Utilizing the unique soft and pliable texture of clay, the artist vividly manifests the tactile experience of being pressed and rubbed, alongside her consistent physical interaction, thus vividly bringing to life a tangible physical phenomenon in her work. Moreover, by layering clay, it amplifies a peculiar visual pleasure where painterly and sculptural elements co-exist, highlighting the juxtaposition of the material’s physical robustness with its visual delicacy.

85 Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea 03058