Monday, May 23, 2005

Artist of the Week 05/23/05

Eung-Ho Park is one of those artists whose work implants itself into your subconsciousness and quietly remains there. Years later, quite surprisingly, you'll realize that you will never forget it. It seems simple enough at first, slightly altered everyday objects arranged en masse in installations that read like humorous visual puns. But being a dedicated student of the human condition and born anthropologist, Eung-Ho instinctively taps into something deeper, perhaps even threatening, with each of his choices of materials (most often referencing a human body part). The piece here at the top is Sperm Spoons, 1999 - 2004, metal spoons, epoxy resin, 17’x22’x2’’ (wish I knew how to put captions under images aligned to the right).

Consider this large wall sculpture made of painted bottle caps

Eung-Ho Park, I am Looking at You, 2004; bottle caps, epoxy resin, Acrylic, (installation view at Queens International), dimensions variable

Here's a detail:

At a studio visit about a year ago, Eung-Ho told me when he first moved to New York, that's all he would see in crowds of people...all their eyes, staring back at him, sizing him up, perhaps judging him. Whereas I consider a sea of eyes a fascinating image, to Eung-Ho it was also threatening. I don't have that same reaction, though, and I pressed him on this. He politely tried to explain to me that as an Asian he feels a degree of racial discrimination I might not feel as a white man of European descent.

Another piece by Eung-Ho I'll never forget, I realize now, is this installation he had at Exit Art (although there's nothing I can find about that exhibition on their site now, the site is fun). The threat here is the weight of the piece (its ability to crush anyone foolish enough to enter it), again, perhaps, a metaphor for crowds:

Eung Ho Park, Bowling Ball Curtain, 1999, 168" x 60" x 48", bowling balls, chain

This piece won Eung-Ho a commission with Percent for Art in NYC, for which he did a somewhat
less threatening version for a school.

Suspended from the ceiling of P.S. 270, Eung-Ho Park’s Bowling Ball Curtain is composed of fourteen hanging chains of nine balls each. Park’s curtain stretches a full sixteen feet to encircle the 12’ x 8’ elliptical oculus that reaches through the lobby’s open railing. The balls are all uniformly sized but range in hue creating a dazzling multicolored scrim. By transforming the balls into a work of art, Park articulates the awesome possibilities of transformation in nature. The sculpture is a playful spectacle for children who are enticed by it’s deceiving airiness and unsettling heaviness; it is a catalyst for introspection as well, providing the young students with an early introduction to science and art.
And finally, consider this wall installation of clay heads titled 7 Train and Beyond. Like many of Eung-Ho's pieces (sorry I couldn't find a bigger image), the dimensions are variable (he had what looks like thousands of these in his studio).

I'll let his
own words stand as the explanation for this one:

"The human body and its disparate parts are the basis for my art. Facial distinctiveness is the focus of the piece, 7 Train and Beyond, emphasizing the intricacy of ethnic and racial relations. The 7 train, the so-called Orient Express, travels through a large Asian neighborhood in Queens. I am a passenger and also a witness of this human colony. I caricature myself in clay. I caricature them in clay. And make fun of myself."


Anonymous crionna said...

Very cool. I swear though, I saw the pic of Sperm Spoons before I saw the name and if you'd have asked I would've said they were old computer mice.

5/23/2005 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

hmmm...too much time working on your computer, crionna?

5/23/2005 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous crionna said...

Always e. Always.

5/23/2005 03:56:00 PM  
Anonymous bambino said...

I like it.

5/23/2005 04:21:00 PM  
Anonymous la artist said...

Thanks for highlighting Eung Ho's work. His drawings are also really wonderful. A few were in a Drawing Center show a few months back.

5/25/2005 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Alastair said...

A cool bottle cap sculpture - I have made my own attempt at a giant rugby ball shaped sculpture from welded bottle caps.

The effort has given me the greatest respect for anyone that can turn what is normally junk into wonderful pieces of art.

Details and pictures appear on my website -

11/18/2010 12:39:00 PM  

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