Arts writer Tessa Laird once described the Korean born, Auckland based artist Seung Yul Oh as a ‘rampant maximalist’ and it’s an apt description for an artist whose work is both playfully exuberant and prolific in production.
Bearing, Oh’s exhibition project for Te Tuhi, is displayed in the outdoor courtyard—a non-traditional exhibiting space used to full advantage here. Embracing the quirks and features of the courtyard itself, Seung Yul Oh creates an immersive installation designed to be interacted with by audiences, particularly the many groups of children who frequent Te Tuhi.
Oh’s work is suggestive rather than definitive, drawing on sources as widely diverse as the Surrealists and Sesame Street, and pushing the materials used to unexpected lengths. From a monster made out of mop-heads; to birds hovering in the sky above; to tree-stumps which can be played like musical instruments: Bearing presents a playground full of strange and whimsical encounters.
Seung Yul Oh says: “I spent a lot of time thinking about the space itself; about working with elements such as wind, sky, sun and rain—all of these natural elements feeding into the work. Also alchemy—transforming ordinary materials and uncovering the potential of what the materials can become.”
Part of Interact!: a series of artists’ projects in collaboration with the Te Tuhi community. The Interact! series pairs contemporary artists with members of the Te Tuhi community centre user groups, in a vital series of collaborations which draw on the unique nature of Te Tuhi—a cutting edge gallery embedded into a local community base.