John Hurrell – 18 August, 2022
And although Park mentions the influence of different types of Korean village guardian totems, her swelling forms and undulating or writhing contours also relate to Picasso's ceramics, the large vertical pots of Barry Bricknell, Minoan goddess figures and more. You can tell she is familiar with much art history, for her wild use of colour (sometimes with horizontal lines of hued ‘mortar') is connected to avantgarde painting groups like CoBrA; especially when rendering bug-eyed faces with pouting mouths.
Meonji Soojibga / Dust Collector
2 July, 2022 - 2 April, 2023
For this show on the smaller top floor terrace above the cafe, Suji Park presents nine ceramic totemic figures on eleven (sometimes butted together) plinths, with some works presented as a pair on the same support.
In a sense the thin-legged plinths in this installation are almost as an important element as the heavy ceramics that are like wonky stacks of bowls. The plinths consist of tables, benches, and stands that have vertically rippled glass glued to their spindly struts that extends down to the concrete aggregate floor. Sometimes the wooden legs extend out diagonally—not vertically—with the above planar wooden surfaces covered with flaking pale grey paint.
The opaque sculptures and transparent plinths are of different heights and thicknesses. The dominant colour on the bowl-like heads and limbless torsos is usually a muted tinted variation of brown or grey, with occasional of slashes of saturated chroma, often within button patterns and on one work, a bright blue finned head.
Park’s methods of glaze application are surprisingly painterly, her use of colour (within porcelain, stoneware and fired local clays) subtly gorgeous, as is her exuberant use of striated or punctured texture: repeating v-lines, dashes or dots to make delicately ethereal fields on hard curved surfaces.
And although Park mentions the influence of different types of Korean village guardian totems, her swelling forms and undulating or writhing contours also relate to Picasso’s ceramics, the large vertical pots of Barry Brickell, Minoan goddess figures, the sculptures of Louise Bourgeois, even Alberto Giacometti, and more. You can tell this dazzling colourist and relentless decorator of surfaces is familiar with much western art history, for sometimes her wild use of colour (with horizontal or diagonal lines of hued ‘mortar’) seems connected to avantgarde painting groups like CoBrA, especially when rendering bug-eyed faces with pouting mouths.
In fact the talismanic presence of these ‘guardians’ is such that even the two security surveillance cameras on the outer gallery walls start to look like peering cycloptic heads guarding the exhibition, scrutinising your every move and making you self-conscious and twitchy.
What the exhibition shows as well is that Park loves creating the bodily sculptural experience and that her use of translucent glass and skeletal wooden plinths is crucial for that; getting the desired height for the confrontational ‘faces,’ not over-accentuating the bases or ground visually so that the hefty works ‘float’ in mid-space; creating a hovering dream zone. The works are calculatedly inelegant, yet with their apparent spontaneity, incredibly beautiful and nuanced.
Being outside in a spot where harsh sunlight can penetrate and dominate, also lets the show gradually change over each hour with the movement of skinny dark shadows, arcs of brilliant sunshine, and nuanced shifts of light reflecting and refracting through the rippled glass plinths. Several visits to this richly surfaced display (packed with restless inventiveness and raw materiality) will bring for the observant multiple rewards.
Two Rooms presents a program of residencies and projects
by leading international and New Zealand contemporary artists.