“The Hong Seon Jang’s Labyrinth exhibition at the David B. Smith Gallery in Denver, Colorado, showcases two unique collections curated specifically for the show, as well as a selection of his other work.
The New York-based artist traditionally forgoes the use of the usual artist’s materials of choice in favor of reworking mundane, man-made objects.
The ‘Black Forest’ collection, which Jang created as part of the exhibition, features multiple layers of overlapping, translucent tape pasted onto a black chalkboard. He makes another interesting material choice in his ‘Black Ruin’ project, which is also part of his solo show. By gingerly placing hot glue across a canvas, the artist adds flair to his work. Both of these projects fuse man with nature through the use of non-natural materials used to convey the environment which the artist is inspired by.”
“designboom has received an exclusive sneak peak of new york city-based artist hong seon jang’s upcoming solo show at david b. smith gallery in denver, colorado, USA. the exhibition is an assemblage of jang’s mixed-media sculptures and includes his tape drawings, decorated thread sculptures and a miniature cityscape formed from letterpress pieces. the artist’s elaborate installations transform every-day objects into actualizations that evoke both natural and man-made scenes.
in his tape drawing ‘black forest’, jang layers a typically transparent item until a ghostly wooded alcove is manifested upon a black chalkboard. with ‘black mirage’, the artist uses clear string, zig-zagging across the gallery space, to create the framework for darkened hot glue to adhere to. the effect is something like a man-made moss, growing upon the walls of the installation. again in ‘type city’, the artist re-imagines mass-produced materials, playing with the objects’ initial forms in order to create a whimsical, diminutive metropolis reminiscent of his new york city home.”
We are pleased to announce an in-depth feature of Hong Seon Jang in the Spring 2012 issue of Modern In Denver magazine. The piece chronicles aspects of Jang’s practice and covers many of his most ambitious works to date. This feature sets the stage for his upcoming exhibition at David B. Smith Gallery, which will include a new series of Jang’s acclaimed tape drawings and mixed-media sculptural works. In addition, the artist will be in residence at the gallery for a week completing two largescale site-specific installations. This exhibition of new works will open May 4th, 2012.
The article can be read in its entirety by visiting the Modern in Denverwebsite.
Excerpted: At Pulse, South Korean artist Hong Seon Jang, with Denver’s David B. Smith Gallery, had spent the whole day constructing Black Mirage, a towering, ethereal waterfall of spider web thin black threads — made with a hot glue gun — cascading over another transparent, ladder-like web of fishing line stapled to the wall. At the end of the fair, it will come down, too delicate to move.
“An idea doesn’t exist. Then you make it tangible form, then you take it down and it doesn’t exist any more,” Jang said. “Like magic.”
“True to its name, the University of Maryland’s Sugar High exhibition hits visitors to the Stamp Gallery – even those who are walking by the little glass-walled space toward the student union’s bustling food court – with a head rush.
Even from a distance it’s hard to miss the giant, boulder-size ball of aluminum foil, lit from within by a fluorescent light, that dominates the space. During a recent visit, as undergrad tour guides shepherded prospective students around, people were murmuring in amazement.
Other works are subtler but no less impressive. The show consists of only five pieces by the New York-based installation artist Hong Seon Jang, but they pack a punch.
In addition to the aforementioned “Rock,” the show includes a lacelike curtain made from hot glue and fishing line; an installation of cut-up magazines that have been affixed to the wall to resemble the kind of flat mushrooms known as tree ears; an almost architectural stack of several thousand sugar cubes that lends the show its title; and a landscape “drawing” created from clear adhesive tape.
It’s pretty impressive stuff, down to that deceptively simple “Black Forest” drawing, which resembles a kind of X-ray, or a wooded vista seen through night-vision goggles.
But it’s not just eye candy. Once the initial sugar high wears off, there’s a rumination that lingers in the head, a sense of interconnection – for better or for worse – between man and nature, the forces of creation and destruction, the ephemeral and the eternal.
That’s by design. The artist, who was born in South Korea, is interested in the Eastern concept that all energy flows in a circle. Scratch the surface, and there’s an obvious ecological subtext: the theme of trash and recycling. But the work also hints at something deeper. By making lovely objects out of mass-produced materials not designed for aesthetics, Jang is, on one level, doing little other than what many modernist industrial designers have already done. What’s the difference, then, between Jang and someone who makes chairs out of corrugated cardboard boxes or vases out of sawed-off wine bottles?
But the artist’s work suggests hidden dualities beyond the physical. His shimmering “Rock,” for instance, glows from inside like a radioactive geode in a sci-fi film, a source of seemingly magical power. The paper mushrooms of his “Fungus” installation contain hidden histories – pictures and stories – we can’t access. “Black Forest” seems to look inside the very soul of a tree. “Sugar High” is, quite literally, a tower built from potential energy (sucrose). Even the curtain of glue, “Black Mirage,” evokes a porous veil separating this world from the next.
Jang’s work may be easy on the eyes, but it’s hard to forget, for reasons that have nothing to do with good looks.
The Story Behind the Work
It’s hard to look at Hong Seon Jang’s sculptural accumulations of foil, glue, magazines, sugar cubes and tape and not wonder about the massive effort that went into creating them. The artist makes no secret of how “tedious, repetitive and time-consuming” some of his art is. One sprawling installation of plastic zip ties, created last year for Minneapolis’s Soap Factory art space, took four to six months of 10-hour days to assemble, according to Jang.
He wants viewers to think about his artistic process. That’s because a key notion in his art is the role of human activity. How does what we do – expressed, metaphorically, through what Jang does – impact the world around us?”
Hong Seon Jang Marbleous
Used furniture, faux marble vinyl tiles
EAF 11: 2011 EMERGING ARTIST FELLOWSHIP EXHIBITION Through March 4, 2012
Socrates Sculpture Park is pleased to announce the opening of EAF11: 2011 Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition (EAF11) on Saturday, September 10, 2011 (2-6pm), featuring new works by the Park’s current resident artists. Twenty new pieces will be installed throughout the landscape and viewing will be free and open to the general public.