2010 by Kyu Seok Oh
Bushwick Open Studios; http://www.kyuseokoh.com
Japanese born Seok Oh now lives and works in New York, and has had his installations in public places all over the city. His work is made predominantly of paper and wood; materials, he explains, that build the traditional houses in Japan. These are materials that change with nature, wood stretching and contracting with climate, and paper that insulates while letting in the freshness of outside air. Even without knowing the careful reasoning behind the choice of material, an organic sense of baseness and naturalism, of simple components, is inherent in Seok Oh’s work. Wood is fragrant and untouched by chemical or varnish, and his paper structures appear as nature’s articulation of the objects he chooses to interpret. Sheep is made from reconstituted paper; it looks raw and white, like unpainted plaster, possessing a feeling of primitivism, not unfinished but certainly initial. The obvious joins of the material encourages this initial feeling, the edges rough and barely touching each other. They have no need of being cemented down, so sturdy and concrete is the nature of the paper, filled it seems with the strong sense of object of the sheep. Edges are deliberately un-seamless, surface is far from smooth but organically and tangibly textured. The sculpture swells with the sheep’s shape, material and object become at one with each other, through this beautiful and restrained simplicity of approach.