Seoul Museum of Art presents Corner Dialogue_Spatial Project by Jong Oh, seeking a new sense and recognition of experiencing space. The title “Corner Dialogue” is an expression that integrates his artistic practice and attitude, where he departs from one point by reading a specific space and gradually makes a three-dimensional figure. The show is completed in the intersection of his thinking process on spacetime with the movements of the audience. Centered in the Project Gallery on the third floor, including the sunlit corridors, the space in front of the lift on the second floor with its many users, and the upper reaches of the lobby space, the exhibition extends outward to all parts of the museum.
Jong Oh is an artist who travels between many cities and countries with his tools and materials in a backpack, trying to create things along the way. The gallery is to him both a space for shows as well as a studio. His works, flexible while responding to the space with a mathematical approach, always result in experience. Accordingly, his practice is defined as site-specific installation or spatial drawing/installation rather than traditional sculpture. Taking the space itself as a material, the artist creates harmony and tension with understatement, and maximizes expression. Unlike other exhibitions, filled with artworks or objects, he primarily uses materials like thin lines, creating a non-physical space. Our gaze and senses are turned into something we haven’t recognized.
For this spatial project, the artist presents one of his representative works, Room Drawing. At the beginning of the Room Drawing series, he made works by erasing flaws found in the process of bringing or simplifying places or landscapes to the gallery space. Over time, he has developed the incorporation of the gallery space as a part of Room Drawing by taking these traces as a starting point for his work, or realizing the installation using particular forms of the space as raw materials. Room Drawing (graduation) #1 is the result of dialogues that took place between the artist and the space at a certain time, using the architectural elements of the museum, the interior and exterior structures of the gallery space, and features of the environment. Having worked to break down the boundary between material and tool, for this exhibition, the artist makes a work of art out of a “folding ruler”, an essential tool for making works. Using this tool, he will measure architecturally interesting points such as windows, stairs, and corners of the museum and turn these into forms to be installed inside and outside of the gallery space.
In this way, with the movements of their bodies, the audience experience a space which is the outcome of the artist’s imaginative reinterpretation. Jong Oh invokes new unconsciousness, perception, and a sense of the space that surround us. The movement of the audience, which is an essential part of the works, creates another meaning among the gallery space, the works, and ourselves. The artist, who shows the spaces of the museum as the medium as well as the finished outcome, provides a maximized spatiotemporal experience, and ultimately challenges our recognition with respect to perceiving and seeing art.
* The exhibition title “Corner Dialogue” comes from the book Float series 7(Hezuk Press, 2017) which documents the dialogue of the artist with the A4 size paper.
Jong Oh was born in 1981 in the African coastal city of Nouadhibou, Mauritania and lived on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria for about ten years. After returning to Korea, he graduated in Sculpture from Hongik University’s College of Fine Arts. He then moved to the United States and received an MFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 2011. Since 2012, he has had thirteen solo shows and participated in numerous group exhibitions around the world. Since his participation in the group show at Gallery Factory(2015) in Korea, his works have been shown at Nook Gallery (2017) and Art Sonje Center (2018). In 2016, a review of his solo show was featured in the internationally acclaimed art journal World Sculpture News, making him the sixth Korean artist with that distinction, joining others such as Kim Sooja (1996) and Sookjin Jo (2010). Currently, he is based in New York and works quite actively between Korea and Europe. Since 2012, he has had thirteen solo shows and participated in numerous group exhibitions around the world. Since his participation in the group show at Gallery Factory (2015) in Korea, his works have been shown at Nook Gallery (2017) and Art Sonje Center (2018).