Hatch Art Project presents Korean artist Gunwoo Shin in SIK:蝕, his first solo exhibition in Singapore. SIK:蝕, the exhibition’s title, is derived from a Sino-Korean character that means to eat through, erode, or eclipse. The prominent circular shapes in SIK:蝕 articulate this eclipsed area, which holds that the universe encompasses both the spiritual and the material world simultaneously.
As a motif for this abstract and all-encompassing Sik concept, the artist looked to Monstera, a type of tropical plant with popularity as a houseplant. The circular holes, or fenestrations, in a Monstera leaf form over time, to allow the leaves to withstand rain and wind damage. The artist focused on the evolution of these empty spaces rather than the original shape of the leaf as a representation of things that exist without form, where perception is guided by opening oneself up to the presence of emptiness within.
SIK:蝕 continues the artist’s investigations into the human unconscious, deities, and mythologies through abstractions of our two and three-dimensional spaces. Shin explains that the world is defined by the cohabitation of opposites, where origin and end are perpetually rejuvenating and nothing is lost in the process. The exhibition reveals an essence of being, an awareness constructed through addition and subtraction, realities and illusions, consciousness and nonsentience, animate and inanimate, and death and rebirth. SIK:蝕 features new sculptures, paintings, and relief works, including those developed during his travels and encounters with the historical pagodas of Korea.
Further extending his medium’s capacity to transform the area in which it exists into space or site, the artist has responded to the Singaporean landscapes and iconic reliefs of local temples. The Singapore Botanic Gardens served as the inspiration for the artist’s relief work “Blue Candle Boy,” which evokes an ethereal sense of being. The figures transform and become one with Sik, emulating and depicting their quest for or realization of enlightenment.
The exhibition is the artist’s invitation to unite the seen and unseen, entering beyond the tangible to consider how these realms shape our perceptions. Examining a world in the presence of absence where mind and eye harmoniously consider the weight and significance of invisible life forces.
Gunwoo Shin (b. 1978) creates works that are described as ‘sculptures of theatrical situations. The character in Shin’s relief work is positioned front-and-center like an actor delivering a soliloquy. The background is boldly simplified or surreally composed in relation to the character, resulting in a captivating theatrical presentation. Counterpart to his stage-like relief works are his high relief works that push the actor further out past the fourth wall. The scenes in Shin’s paintings are allusions to a stage completely cleared of actors. Gunwoo Shin graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Sculpture from the College of Fine Art, Seoul National University Korea, before going on to graduate with a Master’s from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, United Kingdom. He has exhibited in solo shows with galleries such as Gallery2 (Korea) Gallery Hyundai (Korea) and Shin Gallery (United States of America), as well as in group exhibitions at institutions such as the Jeje Museum of Art (Korea) ,Oxo Centre (London) and Hatch Art Project ) Singapore.
SIK:蝕 is supported by The Fund for Korean Art Abroad (FKAA).The grant program is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea and managed by the Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS).
SIK:蝕 runs from 8th October to 12th November 2022 at Hatch Art Project, 7 Yong Siak Street, 168644. More information available here