I have followed Sui Park’s intricate and beautiful sculptural works for the last several years after meeting her through an artist residency at Brooklyn Art Space. Her art contains something intimate though expansive; it is filled with the force of geometry and nature, little small truth’s obsessive repetition that insists until a collective simplicity becomes god-like, like a pedal to a flower, a leaf to the tree.
How did you begin making your sculptural structures? What relationship does the work have to traditional female handcraft, to the spider?
I apply traditional weaving or basketry methods to create contemporary art forms that incapsulate my sentiments and values. My background is in fiber art and interior architecture. With fiber artwork I always try to create a perspectival view. My main interior architectural work attempted to augment traditional space with organic forms through methods and materials largely used in fiber art. I think I combine the two pretty well. I always wish I had eight hands, but I’d never be as good as any spider!
Do you ever recreate biological geometry, or are your forms improvised?
I think my work lies in between. Each of my pieces follow a process of sketching to structuring. Most of the emphasis is on creating forms that encapsulate a theme. Finding a right match between the form and the theme is always difficult. Some works are intuitive, while some are delayed.
I see these little entities as thoughts on a micro world, do you? Are the forms more about life or structure, about space or soul?
I don’t think I have any intention of making forms from the micro world. I follow my materials and my work is about capturing and representing a moment of change. I think about the structures and space creating ambiance and sentiment.
If you were one of the objects you make, would you be large or small, living or not?
That is a good question and also a difficult one. I think each piece has a little bit of me within it, like how I know someone else’s song, book, or artwork without knowing the author’s name.
Who and what influences you…art, music, literature, biology, etc…?
I admire the architect Peter Zumthor’s work. To quote him: “Architecture is not about form, it is about many other things. The light and the use, and the structure, and the shadow, the smell and so on. I think form is the easiest to control, it can be done at the end.”
I learn from his masterpieces how he has perfected the expression of his own remarkable character. His work helps me figure out how I can bring out “mine.”
The material of making is readily available and inexpensive plastic, is this due to formal or conceptual concerns?
Cable ties and monofilaments are the two materials that I mostly use these days. They are mass produced industrial materials that are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. However, they seem to do lot of things for my work. They have flexibility, which is effective in creating curvatures and allows me to easily fabricate the shape I want. They also have enough durability and strength to hold the structure that I want.
It may be ironic to create organic forms and represent our changing sentiments with artificial and mass produced plastic materials, but I think the irony is well preserved and blended into my work, creating illusionary or mystical ambience.
How important is the location of exhibition to the work?
Different factors can change how my work is perceived, and location is certainly one of them. Rather than trying to control the location to bring out my best work, I try to find a matching environment and bring out the best of the environment. I like how my work is perceived differently in various environments. Sometimes it’s less than what I expect, but sometimes it surprises and amazes me; I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy site-specific installations so much.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or projects you would like to share?
I have a three-person show scheduled at the Catskill Art Society in Livingstone, New York in March. I plan to introduce my new 2-dimensional cable tie series “Portrait.” I’m also exhibiting my large 3-dimensional works in a group show “Dismantle the Core” at Elaine L Jacob Gallery, Wayne State University in Michigan over the summer, and throughout the 2017 Sculpture X Symposium.
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