Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Seungmo Park at the Dennos Mueseum

Happy Cherry Festival Week, everyone! While I've not had the chance to take part in any of the Festival events yet, I've done the obligatory wandering through the Open Space, scoping out what rides to ride at the Midway, and cursed about the traffic a few times. Don't get me wrong, we love having our tourists come and check out our awesome town, but it's a whole different beast now that I have to park downtown to work. Thank goodness for my bike!

While I'll make sure to fill everyone in with some Cherry Fest goodness next week, this week I wanted to share one of my absolute favorite exhibits I've ever seen at the Dennos Museum. I've seen all the exhibits moved in and out of the museum the past three years, and this one totally captivated me.

Seungmo Park's beautiful wire and mesh sculptures are larger than life, and truly stunning. Seungmo Park stacks layers of mesh wiring, then trims it piece by piece and little by little to create stunning portrait sculptures that engulf the viewer in their size and intricacy. I mean, just check this out:

Park photographed these models underwater, then layered the mesh (overlapping and stacking them just so, to create the proper effect, leaving about two fingers' width of space between each layer) and finally snipping away at the wires until these gorgeous, massive sculptures were complete.

And they are HUGE. We're talking, like, 10 or 15 feet across and wide. I love that I can move all around them and get super close to the artwork, watching the image change as I take it in from a different angle or distance. Getting up close to each piece really helps me appreciate the patience, tenacity, and vision that Park puts into these masterpieces. Every snip of the wire is intentional and gives the image incredible depth and detail. 

The pieces below, with the forest pathway and crowd, allow the viewer to walk behind the scene and become part of the image to those looking on from the other direction. Any art that encourages viewer participation and interaction gets a major A+ in my book.

The crowd is my favorite of Park's works on display at the Dennos; I love the anonymity of the scene, the elongated shape, and the variety of techniques Park used to create so many different textures and patterns. I'm not kidding when I say I could spend a few hours soaking up the brilliance in this piece and the personalities Park shares in these figures.

In addition to these hanging mesh works, there are also some of Park's aluminium wire wrappings, in which he casts an object and then wraps it in wire. While these aren't my favorite of his works, they certainly take a lot of skill and patience to craft, too. The realness of each sculpture and the space these occupy in the room make them feel oddly alive and conscious, like they're going to start moving or taking at any minute; it's pretty surreal. Also, I love this woman's hair!

If you've not checked out the exhibit yet, I highly recommend it. Park's work is only available for viewing in Seoul, New York City...and now, Traverse City. Who'd've thought? These works are well worth a visit to the Dennos, especially if it's raining or you need a break from the crowds downtown. Stop on over and take a look! The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday until 8 pm and Sundays from 1-5 pm. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children.

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