Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Trapped in Beauty

Susan Sontag, a Jewish American literary theorist, novelist, filmmaker and feminist activist once stated about photographs:  “All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”

Freezing moments is, in fact, very much what Seung Mo Park, a Korean artist based in Brooklyn, does with his stunning aluminium wire sculptures. His artwork is intimately linked to photography, since he actually starts his creations using a projected photograph and then slowly placing layer after layer of wire meshing by cutting and welding until the three dimensional sculptures of his subjects materialise to the fascination of viewers’ eyes.

Park’s awesome art pieces are born out of a meticulous work achieved by creating fibreglass castings, which he then patiently wraps in wire, row after row, with an accurate attention to details such as the folds and wrinkles in a dress, the lines of a mouth, the sinuous musculature of the human body or the wavy hair of a woman. Careful observation of his sculptures reveals different techniques: from the mentioned wrapping of the wire to the weaving of layers of metal in a patchwork style, endowing his artworks with a visual sense of time and texture.

In their immobility and likeness to the respective models, Seung Mo Park’s sculptures may evoke a photographic characteristic, which is further enhanced by the aura assigned to them by their metallic hue. In fact, his creations can be said to look like three dimensional photographs whose subjects have been trapped forever in that unique moment in time, and eternalised under the form of extremely beautiful sculptures.

As Susan Sontag states about photographs, Seung Mo Park’s creations slice out moments and freeze them, therefore proving time’s inexorable fleetingness, while offering viewers the privilege of enjoying the captured beauty, therefore participating “in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability”.

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