Sang-Kyoon Noh: Conjuring Constellations

When 29 Apr 2011 - 4 Jun 2011
Where Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
505 W 24th Street
New York, NY 10011
United States
Enquiry 212.243.8830

Installation View, Conjuring Constellations, 2011.
Courtesy of the artist and Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery NY

April 29 – June 4 2011

Press Release:

Noh, Sang-Kyoon chooses to follow his personal mythos as a source and driver for his creative process.  Covered in thousands of sequins that he threads together by hand, the early sculptures and canvases of Noh Sang-Kyoon trace their origins to both the ordinary and the spiritual – from the memory of his mother’s spangled bag and the costumes of singers on television, to a near-death childhood experience, when he nearly drowned.  He realized then that he ‘could die in vain, as nobody, as nothing, with no purpose, as if a fish without scales that is doomed to perish.’  He later translated these memories into a series of early work where sequins created the shining apperance of life-saving fish scales.

In his past work, the Buddha series entitled ‘For the Worshippers’, Noh, Sang-Kyoon elevates everyday objects to the meditative realm – an act that is both subtle and startling.  A Buddha statue loses its previous meaning as a majestic symbol of great reverence and religious power, and becomes instead a deity that is more human, humorous and approachable.  Noh, Sang-Kyoon’s Buddha doesn’t wear a monk’s robe but rather an ornate flashy garment of sequins.

Following his early fish and Buddha series and over time, the artist’s use of sequins has grown more layered and multi-dimensional as he creates works with single colored sequins on a flat canvas, reminiscent of minimalist paintings.  While in his early fish series, the shiny disks worked to reference the appearance of scale, in his later works the conceptual and the spiritual are increasingly juxtaposed with the material and the imaginary world.  By mining the characteristics of sequins to create optical illusions, he reveals his work as fantasy but also, paradoxically, as part of how we recognize the world in which we live.  What is seen, perceived and believed is no longer simply the truth, but a phenomenon where the real and the spiritual collide and our assumptions of how an object is meant to be seen are challenged.  The works become highly subjective and audience participation becomes an active part of his works.

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