RYAN LEE is pleased to announce Seong Chun: all that will go, a solo exhibition that will feature sculpture, wall drawings, works on paper, and installation. This is the artist's first show with the gallery.
Chun has a longstanding interest in modes of communication and the written form to create abstract objects that emphasize the limiting and opposing nature of language. This body of work follows a set of rules: interlock forms, employ a device to obscure words, and recontextualize the text, while the artist’s hand remains present. The transformative process of taking mundane materials and inserting a delicacy through precision and labor speaks to themes of systems and networks in how meaning is created.
Chun embraces a conceptual space where multiple meanings coexist in congruent uncertainty. Playing with the notion that language is elusive, she questions if words can escape from her visualization of meaning. Her sculpture begins with armature that mirrors deconstructed block letters, around which she crochets strips of paper with text that has been removed from its immediate context. As each woven strand passes through her fingers, small amounts of her physical being are left as conceptual intentions. A fragmented narrative emerges to consider the opposition of language and communication. Reflecting on landscape and architectural forms while echoing attributes of Korean ceramics, the sculptures incorporate structural principles of balance, symmetry, and geometry.
The recurring theme of abstracted language reappears in the works on paper. Notched in the same way as the crocheted sculptures, the paintings consider the relationship between the digital and analog. Appearing computer-generated, a closer inspection confirms they are done by the artist’s hands. The related drawings, which also dismantle the written form, are evocative of graffiti, street tags, and medieval stained glass and tapestry. The ceiling installations incorporate beads and thread to address themes of devotion and ritual. The thread exists as a conduit, while the beads are metaphorical desires, either realized or unfulfilled. Chun explores the obscuration of words to emphasize a necessary solitude or silent quality, while investigating the fleeting nature of ideas. Her work continues to question the tricky relationship inherent between image and text. The text remains anchored in its physical form and yet, the ideas escape the confines of the abstracted structure to describe the nuances of meaning.
Chun received her MFA from New York University in 1992. Her work has been included in important exhibitions at Gwangu Biennale, KR; Art in General, New York; The Ballroom, Marfa; Bronx Museum of Art, New York; Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Hudson; Museum of Fine Art, Santa Fe; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase; New Museum, New York; Orange County Museum, Newport Beach; and Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro.
All images: Seong Chun, installation view of "all that will go," 2014. Courtesy RYAN LEE, New York