Persephone’s abduction

The Sculpture of Gap and Rhythm

Often, an artist is called “a creature that speaks of the things the people should not mention at all.” The secretive or many the sacred areas are challenged by the instinct of those artists. Among them, the area of sculpture is felt like the realm of the Absolute in the sense that artist shapes a form. There is a visual pleasure in sculptures which are given by a sense of volume. In the process of cutting away or adding on the materials, there is a unique beauty that is formed. Since it is possible to express the three-dimensional feel, the similarity is excellent with the target. Therefore, sculpture is a genre that gives the feeling of existence to the viewers. Among them, the reappearance of the human body attracts the sculptures regardless of the flow of time. From far away the myth of Pygmalion to the recent artists, human body have always been the target of discussion. This is because there is the attraction the human body can only give off. As a delicate and amazing organization, or as the target with the model shape, that human body has become the target of ar creation.

However, when it is examined a little deeper, it meets the fundamental question about human beings. The awe in human creation is exactly that. When God created the human being by modeling after his own image, certainly, the form looked harmonious and good. This faith and formative trust becomes the direct opportunity for Park, Chan-Gul to understand sculpture. Through arts activities, Park desires to form rapport and sympathize with the Absolute. Furthermore, Park hopes that his sculptures are viewed as the language creating the relationships between God and self as well as the viewers.

However rather than to deliver the beauty of the perfect human body, Park, Chang-Gul presents a form that is lacking something. In other words, rather than being faithful to the external appearance, he creates a form that is somewhat emptying. Rather than trying to fill it, by having the spacial gap opened, it allows the viewers’ eyes to pass between the sculptures. The eyes of the viewers constantly toggle in and out of the sculpture. This is the method of sculpture Park, Chan-Gul pursues. When examined further more, he has layed each stainless board on top another one and then created gaps between them. In between the sculpture, external air frequently crosses over. The horizontally cut metal materials create a tower shape by stacked up in tiers. As a result, the viewer can personally meet the folds that look like waves through this work. The metal fragments with this rhythm are reborn into various human bodies and skin.

Here, Park, Chan-Gul enters the insides of a magician for his own human body expressions. He selects the target who evenly has the history and reputation. Therefore the viewer does not need that much time in order to realize that the target is someone who he already knows. The reason why his works are notably visual for the viewers is because they are familiar to them. For example, “David di Michelangelo,” “the Discobolus,” “Moses,” “Hercules pulling a bow,” “St. Mary holding Baby Jesus,” and “Jesus” belong to that category. These pieces are often called a type of an icon in the visual art genre. As you can seel, art historical roots and religious iconography take the center of his sculptures. However, strictly speaking, his works show a significant difference with the original sculptures. They only have similarities with the targets but are far from the reproductions. Rather, through using the universal image, he is showing them in a new way through processing them in a new way.

Behind these actions, the subjectiveness of the artists regarding art is also playing a share. In other words, he is trying to distance himself from the attitude of playing the philosophical functions of art. Actually, the communication with the public actively is more important for him. The artist himself values the issue of communing through his work. According to Park, “Even if a certain piece of work has a grand and deep topic or has the perfect beauty of a sculpture, if “the medium of work” or the “work itself” is recognized for a distorted content, then the discourse of that piece of work can be actually hidden by the beauty of the sculpture.” In other words, Park is alert on the separation between the artist’s purpose and the reading of the piece of work by the viewer. Park, Chan-Gul tried to distance himself with this error that often occurs within the category of art itself.

Another part that contributes to the communication is that he allows the viewers to feel the visual play through his work.
His sculptures cause the eyes to have pleasure. The gap spaces that seem to be shifting contributes a lot. Due to this visual rhythm, it is possible to lead the “sculpture that can be enjoyed” even for the general public.

When we examine the production method, Park makes the selected image into a 3D sculpture. On top of that, he operates and simulates various programs and go through the laser cutting – assembly – welding process. The initial cut appearance looks like as if the iron plates were sliced. These sliced units are put together one by one for a form. The artist connects all this through a iron pole and supports the piece and this gives a significant architectural structural feel. Especially as the stainless plate’s horizontal structure and the vertical structure of the iron pole meet, it is reminiscent of the stylish modern architecture. Moreover, the unique silver color of the steel creates the reflection of lights. Between the gaps, the light passes through. The horizontal gaps allow the viewers to meet the sculptures at a new context. In other words, the existing iconography was buried in the classic or were only very familiar images to us. He was planning the formative transition regarding this habitual vision. This can be said to be the work that brings them back to life. He selects form from the historial context and memory reservoir. On top of that, he adds a type of a parody process, after it has been armed with new senses, it faces the original one directly.

Rather than reproducing something, Park, Chan-Gul considers how to look at things in an important way. In this regard, his work is preceded by several criteria. First, it is finding the good “form.” It is the attitude of trying to find the appropriate form for the person and trying to derive the understanding and creativity regarding that. Additionally, he tries to rediscover the value of perfection in the classical sculptures and remind the viewers of that spirit.

Park, Chan-Gul was able to find numerous possibilities that can show the sculptures in an open way without losing the attention to the great sculpture pieces. Additionally, he opposes the unique aura of masterpieces. Furthermore, in the access to the form and volume, he overlays his imagination. For this, a precise process is required which is different than the original piece. Accompanied by combining skills and the technique of arranging, he is able to find the different aesthetics of space than the original work. As mentioned before, the space between the steel tower surfaces is important. The optical elements which occur in the process of creating new relationship between the spaces are deep. Based on these elements, a unique space review is conducted. Taken together, his sculptures can be considered to be the work of opening and closing. In other words, he secured the space by opening the spaces between each unit. The flow of the air which occur in the space as well as the niche of the landscape shown through the gaps are also a part of the sculpture. As he represents, through a type of “afterimage,” he approaches the viewers. It is a sculpture that is created like the waves by layers and tiers. Accordingly, depending on which direction you are looking at his sculptures, the story of the sculptures changes.
Park gives a new breath to the traditional sculpture and also presents the rhythm of the modern scu
lpture. Rather than locking the meaning inside the stainless, he places humor. He induces tactile through the panorama on the outside and by allowing the eye contact with the viewer from the other side of the gap, Part left the possibility for the joyful sculpture open. Work of art to Park, Chan-Gul is conversations between two parties beyond the space of great meaning. Additionally, Park, Chan-Gul is the messenger who tells the abundant stories about the modern sculpture to the viewers.

Gam, Yoonjo (Curator of Hangaram Art Gallery, The Seoul Arts Center)

By Changirl Park

'- B.F.A in Sculpture Chungnam National Univ. Korea
- M.F.A in Fine art KyungHee Univ. Korea 내마음에 강물흐르다. Education ~ 충남대학교 조소과 경희대 대학원 조소

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