Since the late 1980s, South Korea has witnessed a surge in the progression of the contemporary art scene. The eruption of more Asian biennales also casted a long shadow on Korea’s art industry that has already ate its way into the society’s recognition. Even as paintings still remained a staple in depicting Korea’s traditions and cultures, the more 3-D articulation of sculptures begin taking shape in today’s artistic climate. Standing amidst the sculpture scenes of heavyweights is Korean-bred artist Park Sang Su.
Born in 1970, Park hailed from Jeonju City, where he excelled academically. Since an early age, his parents were aware of his creative inclinations and hoped for him to pursue career paths like architecture, carpentry, or even teaching. As Park came of age, he began to realise that fine arts best suited his expressions of the world around him, and that ignited the fuse towards his ever-expanding body of sculptural works.
Whilst sizing up the works, audiences are treated to a marriage of mediums within the composition, each bringing out an aspect of the artist’s expertise in handling materials that run the gamut. Wood, metal, marble, and resin, Park’s sculptures are either skilful manipulations of each material, or a masterful concoction of two or more of them.
Working with so many mediums, Park in required to develop a keen sense towards the understanding of each one’s prerequisites and compatibility with one another. Additionally, musical instruments are also synthesised in some of the works in celebration of the artist’s fondness for music. Albeit unversed in professional music studies, the lack thereof has never impeded him from appreciating the depth of a melody or the intricacy of a tune. Park desires for his audiences to be able to resonate with the sense of music he weaved into his sculptures, so much that his creations are odes to music in tangible forms.
When queried about his comparably niche choice of medium to painting or drawing, the sculptor responded, “Although I like drawing, I have a sentimental moment whenever I touch different materials.” He further explained that the feedbacks he received when working with the tangibility of these materials supersedes the 2-D renderings of the latter two disciplines. Throughout his career as an artist, Park has raked in numerous accolades and recognition for his craft; aside from participating in 24 exhibitions to date since 1995 which includes 3 solo ones, Park has received a considerable number of awards and had his works in the private collections of places like Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Ho-am Art Hall, and Jeonju City Hall, thus raising the investment and collection values of his works significantly.
Although I like drawing, I have a sentimental moment whenever I touch different materials.
With Park’s recent completion of the Global Art Fair Singapore 2019, the sculptor is taking strides towards achieving an international identity as a master of his craft. Park Sang Su is one Korean artist the sculpting sector from this part of the world has set their sights on, and he is one who has set the bar high for a new generation of sculptors in advanced material manipulation techniques.
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Text by Ryan Mario