Haegue Yang

Sonic Sphere - Diagonally-ornamented Copper and Nickel

Sonic Sphere - Diagonally-ornamented Copper and Nickel by Haegue Yang

Artwork Detail

Korean artist Haegue Yang has a long-held interest in the figures, philosophies and art forms of the Western avant-garde. Developed through a process of research and creative exploration, her art practice responds to these historical precedents in diverse, highly material ways, developing a new formal language that extends upon their thinking.

Dressed in a shroud of bells, 'Sonic Sphere (Diagonally Ornamented Copper and Nickel)', 2015 comes from a series of geometric sculptures which reference the ‘robotic figures’ from Oskar Schlemmer’s 1922 Bauhaus ballet, 'Triadisches Ballett'. Here, Schlemmer’s dancers are rendered as hybrid abstract figures. The artwork’s globe shape, set on casters and covered in a complex pattern of small copper and nickel bells, implies movement.

Yang’s references range from the abstract, chromatic forms of Sophie Tauber-Arp’s modernist paintings, sculptures, textiles and architecture, to the shamanistic rituals embedded in Korean spiritual traditions, which use bells to summon and engage the spirit world. In many ways Yang’s merging of ideas from different cultural traditions is a metaphor for the diasporic movement of bodies and cultures. She has said: 'Sensorial experiences have been and still are integral to my work. And somehow movement seemed inherent in those sensory perceptions: smells travel and then dissipate, steam or humidity ‘touches’ our skin, and any of these sensations can appeal to the mind if they trigger certain memories. So the introduction of movement in my work wasn‘t sudden, but arose from my other interests.'

– Natasha Conland, Senior Curator, Global Contemporary Art, 2023

Sonic Sphere - Diagonally-ornamented Copper and Nickel
Haegue Yang
Production date
powder-coated steel stand, powder-coated metal grid, casters, copper and nickel plated bells, metal rings
990 x 820 x 830 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki,. purchased 2022. Image courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris. Photographer Sebastiano Pellion di Persano
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
International Art
Display status
On display

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