11 Nov 2010 — 19 Dec 2010
Osang Gwon

Gallery 2 presents Osang Gwon’s solo exhibition, Torso. While he has had several solo shows abroad, it is for the first time in four years in Korea since the exhibition at Arario Gallery, Cheonan in 2006, and almost in ten years in Seoul since the exhibition at Insa Art Space in 2001. From Deodorant Type to The Flat and The Sculpture series, he has been always concerned about how to make a sculpture that represents our time. In Deodorant Type, a light sculpture made out of photographic prints, or in The Flat, a simple sculpture that images are cut out from fashion magazines and set up by steel wire, Gwon points out the influence of advertisement that reflects a reality and also implies a fantasy, and connects it with the concept of modern sculpture. And in The Sculpture, he chooses the super-car, such a big and flat and up-to-date thing as to occupy the white-cube space. Casting the mass of super-car in bronze, he suggests that it belongs to the traditional sculpture embodying a modern image.
Now in this solo show, he presents a new series of The Sculpture, a sculpture like sculpture in the literal sense of the word, with the subject matter of motorbike this time. Gwon says that the industrial products are good to turn into sculpture as they are often designed after a figure of animal. Among the numerous models, he chooses not the popular ones but the historically beautiful pieces such as Ducati Paul Smart 1000 (2005), Ducati Mike Hailwood 900ss (1978), MV Agusta Brutale (2006), Ducati Desmosedici (Casey Stoner’s winning machine at 2008 MotoGP World Championship), Ducati 750ss (1974), and so on. From choosing a model to making them into sculpture, he asks what the modern sculpture is and what it means to be seen as art.
To create a sculpture of motorbike, Gwon works only with reference to photographic images and numerical values concerning his chosen bike that he finds on the Internet. Surprisingly, the first piece made in this way appears quite different from the original one. But the difference is not so important as far as the artist is not concerned about it. Rather, it is more important that he does not experience the original motorbike for himself?neither casting nor photographing it, even not seeing it at all?but just represents it using images and numerical data as a guide. This is a pitfall that allures the audience to interpret his works as something abstract or emotional.
On the other hand, it is also noteworthy that these pieces of motorbike sculpture have neither handlebars nor wheels?actually that is why the exhibition is titled Torso. As modern sculpture removes limbs to purify the beauty of body in a symbolic way, Gwon strips the mechanic limbs off to achieve a pure and formal quality. These torsos are art works made in a complicated process from modeling the motorbike with stone clay on aluminum frame to coloring and coating with resin.
Referring to the mass media and reinterpreting the mass product, Osang Gwon’s sculpture asks what the modern sculpture is and what it means to be seen as art in our time.
Torso_The sculpture 7, detail
acrylic on stone clay, resin, aluminium
147 x 174 x 70 cm