Born in 1969 in South Korea, Hong Sungchul completed an M.F.A and B.F.A in sculpture at Hongik University in Seoul before finishing another M.F.A in Integrated Media at California Institute of the Arts in the US. Since graduating he has exhibited many times in the Far East, the USA and Europe and his work features in several international collections.
The work takes the form of sculptural constructions, mostly wall based reliefs, (although some pieces are free-standing). Sequences of elastic cords are printed with photographic images and stretched over canvasses or within steel frames. These images, from a distance, look entire. However, on closer inspection, they become increasingly fragmented and fugitive, as the viewer becomes more and more aware of their mode of fabrication. A tension arises out of this rupture of the perception of pictorial flatness.
The images are of arms and hands grasping, holding and intertwining, sometimes manipulating a string of beads or a wad of paper. There is an emphasis on intimacy in their depiction of mutual touch and interrelation. The nature of the construction disrupts this and makes reference to the artist's wish to 'reanimate communication'; the disruption makes us take notice.
In his latest 'Perceptual Mirror' piece, made from gridded arrangements of identical solar lcd units that produce patterns of random, flickering, pixellation, he asserts this sense of impermanence and constant flux. A potential feeling of anxiety and alienation is offset by the fascinating aesthetic qualities of its painterly form.
In Hong Sungchul's subtle and artful constructions we are introduced to questions about how we live in the virtual, and sometimes disconnected, world. His pieces aim to reclaim a sense of intimacy, engagement and understanding. Fast moving and blurry perceptions are slowed down and examined; the rich quality and beauty of the simple and everyday are revealed.
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