Monday 24 November 2014
Clear PVC bubbles ranging from one to three metres in diameter make up the inflatable installation called SOOM, 2014, which means 'breath' in Korean.
These 16 spheres of air are the latest artwork by Korean-born New Zealand-based artist, Seung Yul Oh, one of the brightest talents to have emerged in the New Zealand art scene in recent years. Oh's practice takes in a wide range of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, sound and video.
Commissioned by the Gallery and funded by long-time Gallery and contemporary art supporters, the Chartwell Trust, SOOM sits outside on the terrace adjoining Kitchener Street and Albert Park. The oversized, transparent bubbles will appear as if they could float away, especially on a breezy summer day.
'SOOM extends Oh's work with inflatables and explores his interest in expansion, growth and the possibility of explosion,' says Chartwell Trust spokesperson Sue Gardiner. 'There is an element of something playful, active and instantaneous - and ever so slightly threatening - with his work.'
'The idea for SOOM came from Oh observing people sitting together and connecting this with the way bubbles instantly join up and connect in an organic way,' says Auckland Art Gallery Acting Curator, Contemporary Art, Stephen Cleland. 'Over the last decade, Oh's humour and lightness of touch in both his small and large-scale works has placed him in an increasingly prominent position both in New Zealand and internationally.'
SOOM will be revealed at a private celebration held on the evening of Friday 28 November. The evening will also see the launch of the 160-page publication of the current exhibition (open until 5 April 2015) A world undone: Works from the Chartwell Collection. The catalogue features essays by Cleland and Dr Peter Shand, Associate Professor, University of Auckland, texts on each artwork and beautifully illustrates the exhibition with a section devoted to install images.
SOOM will be on display and open FREE to the public from Saturday 29 November until Sunday 11 October 2015.