Kikuko’s Tragic Bambi

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on August 5, 2010

This is NOT a Disney kind of performance.

Kikuko Tanaka performed Tragic Bambi: A Mother’s Tears, Thursday night at Arario Gallery. It was: confusing, amazing, beautiful, tragic, fierce, lovely, bacchanilian, illusory, mesmerizing, grotesque, liquid, sorrowful, desirable, and crazy. Too many adjectives? Well, you just had to be there. Post-performance was as exciting, but I believe that is another story for another time.

I cannot say I am able to fully explain what happened within the performance, or even verbalize my impression. If I had to describe Kikuko’s performance in a word, I would choose: dream. The performance displayed all the elements of a different place, deep within the mind of an individual only to be visualized for the pleasure of the artist to share with an audience. Shall I briefly lay out the scenes for you? First, the characters: Kikuko Tanaka as Mother/Artist, Akiko Ichikawa as Gallerist/Writer, Masaki Hori as Tragic Photographer, Hiroshi Shafer as Rabbit, and Stuart Stelzer as Officer.

The Artist/Mother proceeded to glue pearls onto the head of a decapitated Bambi. Two chickens clucked around, somewhat in fear of their surroundings. The Bacchanilian-like Rabbit served shots of sake to the audience and the Officer patrolled the area. The Gallerist/Writer continuously typed and printed unfinished prose and poetry while the Tragic Photographer documented the whole installation/performance with his overexposed camera.

Feeling like you’re in a dream state yet?

This was a last bang of a performance just before Arario closes shop on the Irrelevant show. Recognize anyone in the crowd? If you look closely, notice the unexpected guest, Judith from Bravo’s Work of Art reality show. It was an interesting night; interesting being a primitive adjective to describe the evening. Artists, enthusiasts, and novices came out to support and feed their curiosity as Kikuko advertised a surprise ending. It was a bit of a shocking ending for this hour long presentation. The knocking of a crystal (plexi) palace, touching of artwork, and nudity all inclusive of a shocked audience. What does it all mean?

For this viewer, put simply, it is a gateway into someone else’s dream, thoughts, vision. It leaves you feeling multiple things and in great wonder. Is there real satisfaction in the possibility of reenacting the role of a blue-collared Japanese mother? Can one be at peace reciting prose, reading poetry, and conveying paraphilia/necrophilia? This particular view does not know, with question marks buzzing around questions. I have no choice but to leave somewhat dazed and confused, only knowing that this was the only way to end the 5 week exhibition of Local Emerging Asian Artists Who Don’t Make Work About Being Asian.

Cheers and props to all 52 participating artists. Chelsea and neighbors in NYC, consider yourselves lucky to have witnessed such an Irrelevant show by curators Joann Kim & Lesley Sheng.



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Karen Chan & the SUPER 8MM

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on July 28, 2010

Do you know what a Super 8 mm film is?

This is what Wikipedia is for. No, seriously, click the link if you want the history of ‘Super 8’ and Kodak. I’ll just quote their one line explanation, “Super 8 mm film (often simply called Super 8) is a motion picture film format released in 1965 by Eastman Kodak as an improvement of the older “Double” or “Regular” 8 mm home movie format.”

Super 8 is the choice of medium for one of our 52 artists in the current show, Irrelevant. Karen Chan (see more of her work here) began working with the ‘Super 8’ two years ago and is continuously exploring, experimenting, and expanding artistically with this tool. Arario Gallery had the pleasure of hosting her workshop this past Thursday evening. As our small shy crowd grew into a large curious one, Karen brought out five Super 8’s and had her audience experiment and explore with their own film.

From my observation, the engagement between artist, audience, and medium is exactly what art organizations seek today– audience engagement with art and artists. It is the kind of interaction necessary for art organizations and artists to reach out to their audience on a different level. A teaching workshop allows art enthusiasts and novices to understand and relate to an artist in a more intimate conversation. People want to know what artists are thinking or how and why they came to the point they are standing at. Sure, some artists want their audience to be receptive and reflect upon their art in their own way, but sometimes we, even us art enthusiasts, need a little help in the contemporary art department.

Karen’s workshop was not necessarily a full-on detailed report of her videos made with the Super 8, but rather, it was a lesson in how an individual can create art the way she has.

Indeed, the Super 8 seems to be a celebrated medium of film being resurrected in fine artistic form. Check out these links here:

Thank you, Karen, for sharing your expertise with us!


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URBAN GARDENING with Tattfoo & Friends

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on July 27, 2010

Tattfoo Tan with guests:

Derek Denckla, curator and activist
Andrew Casner, an urban farmer and artist
Daniel Bowman Simon, advocate
Aki Baker, designer and activist

Who knew Urban Gardening was so prevalent in New York City? Actually, the city doesn’t even know how prevalent it is. Through these curators, activists, artists, and advocates, a desire to share knowledge and awareness was necessary for a Thursday evening at Arario Gallery.

Examples of what these artists/urban garden activists are up to?

  • FARM CITY: “Farm City is a curatorial project launched by Derek Denckla as a means to explore new visions for urban agriculture.”
  • Garden Studio: An artist’s work with gardening
  • White House Kitchen Garden: Guests discussed hopes of bringing something similar to NYC and rejoiced in Michelle Obama’s efforts.
  • PEOPLE’S GARDEN NYC: Asking Mayor Bloomberg to plant a garden in front of City Hall: “This garden will represent the vision of a more sustainable, livable City for all New Yorkers, and will contribute to achieving the intents of PLANYC by 2030.”
  • Aki Baker: & Artist/Activist engaged in the active discussion of urban gardening, farming, and the improvement of society.

This was a dynamic discussion for all urban gardening enthusiasts. The audience was incredibly focused and attentive, while asking questions about current projects and signing petitions for a city garden. As Tattfoo has stated, this roundtable discussion was a perfect opportunity for enthusiasts, advocates, and artists alike to network, meet other people who care about the same issues, and exchange thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Tattfoo will continue to spread the message and ideas with his friends, especially next month with “Derek Denckla’s Farm City (A celebration of Urban Agriculture) this September 12 and […] Aki Baker at Greene Hill School” in 2011. I think all artists and participants who were present would agree with Tattfoo, Thursday night was a “night of articulate discussion” on Urban Gardening.

Check out the vid here: and an article written by Leslie Koch.


Jane V Hsu Says “”Platypus,” They Said”

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on July 20, 2010

Platypus? Similar to Duras’ “”Destroy,” She Said”, Jane Hsu’s collaboration with the contemporary music ensemble, The Meanwhile, conveys electrifying and mesmerizing emotion through visual and sound effects. It was a visual experience enhanced by the sounds resonating from the bassoon and electric instruments of The Meanwhile.


  • Your current piece in Arario, “People Were Made to Disappear”, was inspired by personal events; how did “”Platypus,” They Said” transpire?

[JVH] As PWMTD was inspired by real events with my dog sitter’s ability to turn my dogs into devils:, Platypus came from the odd instrumentation of “The Meanwhile.”  I thought the strange combination of electronic instruments, the rarely seen improvised bassoon, and cooper pots reminded me of the platypus, a patchwork creature, that emits a kind of electricity, similar to an eel.

  • I read a summary of Duras’ book, “Destroy, She Said”, and wondered if the use of music and images replaces the intense cadence of words/language.

[JVH] A direct relation would be the end of the video, where a black screen speaks to the viewer about the platypus.  At the performance, the words could not be heard, so I added the subtitles in place.

  • Do you feel that the music enhances the emotion conveyed by your video? Is it your intention that your audience feel a certain way?

[JVH] What I enjoy about working with “The Meanwhile” is that they improvise all of their pieces.  As the audience and space changes, the music for the video will adapt to various environments.

  • Is it the responsibility of the viewer to make sense of what’s happening within the video, and the music inspires a stronger sense of emotional response?

[JVH] Once the music fills up the environment and the projected video lights up floor, the viewer should become part of the experience.

  • When did you begin collaborating with The Meanwhile? Was it a meeting by chance, or did you both inspire one another?

[JVH] I started making my own music for videos (people were made to disappear), then I moved to making silent videos, then giving them to composers and musicians to play with.   My own background in music helps me edit sequences for sound, even if there is no sound for the piece.  Once I saw how musicians reacted to my visual images, I decided to have them improvise with the videos to a live audience

  • Do you think the relation between your video and The Meanwhile’s music is a conversation, a reaction, or an interweaving art piece (all of the above?)

[JVH] I believe that video and music should be an ongoing dialogue.  The more I work with musicians, the more integrated and dependent the video becomes on their other medium.  I wish to create a separate, unique medium out of the collaboration between video and sound.


This performance reaches an audience on different levels; conversation between the musicians and the videowork of Jane Hsu, an experience for the participating audience, and a unique medium formed from the combination of video and instrument. As Jane has stated, the musicians’ performance with a live audience and in different environments creates a unique experience for everyone every time. It’s great to witness an artist experimenting their own art and expanding their own experience by working with other artists of different mediums. As the platypus emits electrical signals, so does this artist with her visuals and electric sounds.



TATTFOO: Your Neighborhood Master Composter

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on July 19, 2010

Worms? Dirt? DIY compost?! HM.

Master Composter, Tattfoo Tan, honored us with his presence this past Thursday evening (July 15th) and spoke to gallery patrons about creating your own compost bin at home. He actually maintains a bin here inside the gallery, live worms and all. Bring a small container to take a few free live worms home with you! Though I did not have the pleasure of listening in on the complete step-by-step procedure due to monitoring the gallery, I did happen to step in as he was saying how great worms are for your compost because they “sleep, eat, have sex, and poop all day”… really?? Even with a few chuckles from his audience, Master Tattfoo was completely serious and proceeded to pile on the layers of fruit peels, newspapers, and worms.

Post-discussion of composting, I spoke with him briefly and emailed a few more questions later on. I truly admire his work, as an artist and composter. He is what his website states: “Tattfoo, artist, cultural worker, social sculpture, relational aesthetic,” and more.

  • As stated on your website, you explore the individual in society. By creating eco-friendly practices and deriving projects from these practices, are you creating art or a way of life? Are your eco-projects a way of exploring individuals and their behaviors/reactions in society?

[TT] Yes, I’m blurring the boundary of art and life. Today, art is no longer a physical object. Even if it is an attractive art object, the artist might not even have his hand in the production of that object. I take a step  further by empowering the viewer to participate and design or work on the art itself. I became a facilitator and the participants is now also an artist and experience art like never before, where before, he or she is just a spectator and walk away and leave the art in the white cube gallery or museum. I believe, art should be able to share, create a chance to be rework, to reconfigure and enjoy by everyone and everywhere. Keep that in mind, I design my projects to be able to reincarnate in another location and another time.

When a participants join the project, he or she took a small leap of faith and an effort to make the project happen. That effort might be small, but that little effect is what we need to make the world a better place. In-directly the participants became the ambassador for the project and spread the green message and knowledge.

  • After exploring your website and witnessing your art pieces first hand along with your gallery talk, I feel that your art transpires into many different levels as you intend it to. For example, the making of art is a shared experience, projects are “ephemeral and conceptual in nature”, and in addition to yourself, you teach others to give back to nature and practice conservation. Do you keep specific goals in mind when creating your projects or are you surprised (and pleased) with the various outcomes?

[TT] I do set a certain expectation and plan accordingly, trying to communicate the message and trying to make fun in the process. In contradiction, I do welcome mistakes, unexpected perspective, opposing ideas and results. I do not strive to create a masterpiece. It is only an exercise and always improving as the project progress and redone, and challenge in another venue or medium.

When I start a project, I try to investigate which is the best medium to express the message. I usually will have to research and learn the skill to equip me to execute the project. I prefer to work this way, in contrast to the traditional notion of an artists in skillful worker in a medium ie: drawing, painting or photography. By do so, I believe if I can learn the know-how and acquire the skill easily, everyone else should be able do it too, making everyone an artist.

  • How long have you been teaching composting? Are the use of worms the only and best way to create an indoor compost?

[TT] I have been doing it for about 2 years. Vermi-compost is best technique for indoor composting. Well, at least it is the cheapest.

  • Are step by step procedures available on your website?

[TT] Yes, do log on to for step-by-step instruction.

  • Will your future projects continue to include eco-conscious practices or something else altogether?

[TT] S.O.S. Sustainable. Organic. Stewardship. had taken precedence in my art practice, but I do explore other topics and subjects in my other projects.
My next project will be S.O.S. Mobile Classroom where I retrofit a cargo bike with educational materials, a mobile gardena, even a chicken coop. I’ll be a green monger and will be visiting fair, school and community events to educate and change the world one peddle at a time. Do come to fi:af: Crossing the Line Festival, 2010,  Farm City, September 12 at The Invisible Dog Gallery in Brooklyn.

  • What can you tell us about next Thursday evening’s gallery talk?

[TT] If you are interested in growing your own food, or social justice, or the blurring the line of art and life, this is the time to have a discussion about these issues.
It will [be] a casual events, feels free to network bring postcard of your own efforts or shows, we [want] to get to know each other and sharing of knowledge and resources.

July 22, 7pm
Conversation about Urban Gardening with:

Derek Deckla, curator and activist
Andrew Casner, an urban farmer and artist
Daniel Bowman Simon, activist
Aki Baker, designer and activist

I want to thank Tattfoo for sharing his ecological knowledge on composting. His philosophy on blurring the lines between art and life are admirable, and something to think about with consideration of an artist’s audience. People want to be involved and understand either the artist’s message or the art itself, or both! Ananda Coomaraswamy used the Shakers as an example of art as a way of life or life as a way of art. No matter what a person does in life, if they focus and apply their energy into it (may it be a physician, a sculptor, a dancer, or a construction worker), what they produce and the act of producing are art.

Check out more of Tattfoo this Thursday and on his website (thorough info on his projects and plenty of photos).


In & Out, Breathe or Pull?

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on July 10, 2010

Obviously both.

Kyoung Eun Kang’s performance at Arario Gallery last night was entrancing. How is it that the personality filled individual I saw toting around with simple black frames transform into a metamorphosing artist? Or could it be that they are one and the same at all times and her identity is something in constant motion?

I could only form my own conjectures because the audience and myself were left with no words from the artist, only the thought provoking and impressionable performance she laid before us. Upon reflection after the regurgitation of water upon sickly sweet cotton candy, my impression was of self-consumption and the constant transformation of her own identity, something which cannot be labeled or held stable.

Still, I could not help my curiosity and just HAD to ask her a few questions:

In your artist’s statement, your performances reflect the shifting state of your identity. Does the act of consuming and pulling out “cotton candy” from your stomach connect your shifting identity to your surrounding environment? (in relation to distributing “pieces of yourself” onto white papers)

  • [KEK] I can say it is belly button rather than stomach. For me, belly button means a string which connects others and myself or generation to generation. I explore the body as transformative space as I traverse my inside and outside through the act of consuming, pulling out, swallowing, or scattering materials (cotton candy and plastic bag). At some point, materials and I assimilate each other. Specially, as I distribute the cotton candy onto the white paper and floor, I closely examine both the identity of myself and the material.

From the acts of drawing on the plastic bag and swallowing the bag, you are actively representing your identity, changing and denying any sort of former establishment. Do these performances represent your identity as an individual and artist, going to and from, combining and constantly changing?

  • [KEK] As I trace my face onto the plastic bag wearing it, I present dual identity. It is weird moment. I feel the portrait is not myself but still belongs to me. I address the idea of fluid identity. For me the word “identity” is flexible and adoptable than rigid and fixed. Through my performance I represent elastic identity through my body.

I noticed there was no lecture or speech to accompany your pieces. Is it your intention that the audience walk away with their own impressions and thoughts? If their own opinions did not reflect your ideas of the performances, would this bother you or do you enjoy people forming their own ideas from your work?

  • [KEK] My performance is open ended. I use my performance as language. After performance, an audience [member] told me that she felt complex emotions of life (love, hate, struggle, nurture, fear). She added it was interesting to see how I combine the element of humor with essential and serious issue of identity.

Above everything else, what is it that you want people to walk away with from your work?

  • [KEK] My performance is not a lecture or book which has an answer. My performance is unpredictable and complex. Sometimes it is nonsense. I hope one day my audience reminds of my performance at a certain situation.

I can honestly say this was an interesting evening and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet with and speak to the artist Kyoung Eun Kang. Her performance is the first of its kind I have witnessed thus far, and I enjoyed it fully.

Arario Gallery hopes you can pay us a visit and take a look at her other performance piece, Happy Birthday, which reflects similar themes from her live performance Thursday night. The exhibition, Irrelevant, runs through August 6th.

For those who made it out...

THANKS, & hope you enjoyed!


Kyoung Eun Kang’s performance In & Out this Thursday!

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on July 6, 2010

Please join us this Thursday at 7pm for a performance by Kyoung Eun Kang titled In & Out. Performance begins at 7pm!

Thursday July 8, 2010


Arario Gallery

521 W. 25th St 2nd Fl

New York, NY 10001

Kyoung Eun Kang

In & Out

The plastic back and cotton candy traverse the inside and outside of the artist in an act of swallowing, pulling out, and eating by herself and by others. Through the performance, the artist presents her identity as a shifting and moving state that is never fixed or preestablished.

Irrelevant: Local Emerging Asian Artists Who Don’t Make Work About Being Asian

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on June 17, 2010

Irrelevant: Local Emerging Asian Artists Who Don’t Make Work About Being Asian

July 1 – August 6th, 2010

Opening Reception July 1st, 6-8pm

Performances & Workshops every Thursday for the duration of the exhibition

Arario Gallery is very proud to present Irrelevant: Local Emerging Asian Artists Who Don’t Make Work About Being Asian, an ambitious survey exhibition featuring the work of nearly fifty artists curated by Joann Kim and Lesley Sheng.

Irrelevant wishes to highlight artists who are more American than Asian, based in New York, and embedded in an expansive community of emerging artists struggling to show and succeed in this cutthroat city. You will not find paintings about the Cultural Revolution or Mao Zedong that sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. You will not find manga-infused characters performing acts of hypersexuality nor will you find decorative miniature drawings with motifs embedded within a specific cultural history.

What you’ll find is a surging flow of creativity where artists actively engage in their practice, exploring the absurd within everyday experience, the use and misuse of materials both new and found, and the curiosity of defining artistic practice. Food and consumption is considered within an urban agricultural environment, and social interaction is taken out of norm and reenacted in refreshing alternative ways. Pictured narratives gear toward a dark and isolated realm and obsession is the source behind abstracted images.

A major focus of this exhibition is to formulate a community, building a foundation for artists to gather and exchange ideas and experiences. There is an endless array of amazing underrepresented artists in NY, thriving yet unheard. Through this exhibition we get to see artists engaging with their given role and their interests within a particular medium, exploring on both conceptual and idealistic levels with painting, photography, performance, sculpture and installation. We get to see abstraction within the everyday and the everyday within abstraction. We get to see materials unfolded, manipulated, reworked and dysfunctioned. We get to feel self-conscious and hyper aware of our stance as viewers, where time and space is altered and questioned.

Irrelevant is a friendly and humorous, and somewhat ridiculous, rejection of a neurotic art market and its obsession with specifying artists to a particular culture and ethnicity. This exhibition purifies and de-labels the artist as Asian, by labeling the artist as Asian, to be shown inside a contemporary Asian art gallery.

Artists: Seong Min Ahn, Shin Young An, Sophia Chai, Louis Chan, Karen Chan, Rona Chang, Gigi Chen, Yoon Cho, Micah Ganske, Hyoungsun Ha, Geujin Han, Takashi Horisaki, Jane V Hsu, Hidenori Ishii, Hong Seon Jang, Kyoung Eun Kang, Heige Kim, Seung Ae Kim, Nancy Kim, Hein Koh, Shizuka Kusayanagi, Amy Fung-yi Lee & Caroline Jung-ah Park, JaeEun Lee, Sinae Lee, Soo Im Lee, Jiyoun Lee-Lodge, Pixy Liao, Juri Morioka, Tadashi Moriyama, Joel Morrison, Dominic Neitz, Christian Nguyen, Asuka Osawa, Eung Ho Park, Youngna Park, Jung Eun Park, R&D, Ruijun Shen, Satomi Shirai, Hidemi Takagi, Tattfoo Tan, Kikuko Tanaka, Jason Tomme, Mai Ueda, Kako Ueda, InJoo Whang, Wenjie Yang, Mika Yokobori, Yejin Yoo, Jayoung Yoon, Seldon Yuan

Gallery hours are Monday thru Friday 10-6pm and by appointment.

Contact for more information.


July 1st

6-8pm Opening Reception

Mai Ueda

Local Emerging Asian Artists Who Don’t Make Work About Being Asian

Mai Ueda sees situation as art and personality as performance, she will be highlighting those Local

Emerging Asian Artists Who Don’t Make Work About Being Asian during the opening of the show to

be seen as performance.

Takashi Horisaki

Handmade Communication

Dimensions variable, 2004
Viewer interactive performance
Latex, powder, cotton, chair, table

A group of artists apply latex to participants’ hands and peel it off while discussing their hands, personal histories and personalities. After the hands are stuffed and labeled with a tag bearing the participant’s signature, they are installed on the wall of the site as a record of the performance and participants.

Jane V Hsu

What We Can Do in Florida

Single channel video, live voice & electronic music

Jane Hsu (video), Juan Calderon, Chia En-Hsieh (electronic instruments) Suzanne Gughrie (voice)

In a bright palette of anxious energy, a 7-foot latex Peanut man “What Can We Do in Florida,” is a

video, voice, and musical performance based on the gestures of Mr. Peanut, who hops to the rhythm

of humidity and decay in subtropical Miami.   The piece reveals life’s unseen predators as we become

highly mesmerized and hypnotized by terrible things.  The vocal performance is a collection of found

memories and record conversations from hotel holidays in Florida.   Mr. Peanut is supported in part

from the Peanut Pals, a global association of Mr. Peanut collectors and enthusiasts.

Hidemi Takagi

Blender Project

Blender is a lens into New York’s immigrant communities and cultures. The artist will have an interactive show using “Blender Cart” in which she gives out samples of various international food and culturally connected products with Information notes about immigrants and communities to the public to take home and to learn about that culture through these food imports.

July 8th

7pm Kyoung Eun Kang

In & Out

The plastic back and cotton candy traverse the inside and outside of the artist in an act of swallowing, pulling out, and eating by herself and by others. Through the performance, the artist presents her identity as a shifting and moving state that is never fixed or preestablished.

July 15th

7pm Tattfoo Tan

Composting Know-how with Master Composter Tattfoo Tan

Have questions about starting your own composting bin? Having problems maintaining a healthy bin? Learn from the Master Composter on duty.

8pm Jane Hsu

Platypus,” They Said

Single channel video, percussion, bassoon & electronic music

Jane V Hsu (video), Juan Calderon, Chia En-Hsieh (compositions) Michael Perdue (copper pots),

Annie Lyle (bassoon)

A group of platypus pups are born to the improvised music of the bassoon, copper pots, and

electronic instruments.  “Platypus, They Said,” performed by The Meanwhile, a New York based

contemporary music ensemble that experiment with familiar harmonic language and unexpected

combinations of instruments.   The platypus is a venomous animal that finds its prey with

electrolocation, the ability to sense electric fields.  The title of the piece is derived from Duras’ play,

“Destroy, She Said,” about the interactions of three strangers staying in an empty hotel amongst the

possible chaos of war.

July 22nd

7pm Karen Chan

Invisibility: Captured on Super 8mm Film

This workshop will introduce the art of super 8mm filmmaking by taking a look at some of the most

provocative and important works shot on super 8mm from the 1960s-70s. Works by Vito Acconci,

Dennis Oppenheim, and Bruce Baille, are amongst the pieces that will be shown, as well as select

works by Karen Chan, who will be leading the workshop. An open discussion will follow on the

concepts, styles, and techniques used, as well as the special characteristics of the super 8 medium

that allows room for exploration. Super 8mm cameras will be on hand and participants will learn the

basics of camera functions and shooting. The workshop will close with a group collaboration in the

making of a film on the theme: invisibility.

$10 Suggested Donation

8pm Tattfoo Tan

Conversation about Urban Gardening

Conversation with a round table of urban gardeners and artists that are involved in the green movement.

July 29th

7pm Kikuko Tanaka

Tragic Bambi: A Mother’s Tears

As a part of the ongoing series of work, which evolves around a recurring motif of urination on Bambi,

an interactive performance/installation, “A Tragic Bambi: Mother’s Tears” developed out of an image

that persisted in the artist’s mind: the image of a mother in a Japanese traditional apron, who keeps gluing pearls on a decapitated head of Bambi. The attire worn in the piece is a stereotypical apron for Japanese blue-color mothers, which the artist didn’t have but wished to have had in her childhood. In the piece, the artist transforms herself into an object of love, merging the boundary of the self/other and reality/imagination. The idea of the fantasy mother, whose existence relays on its absence, resonates with the very concept of utopia, which manifests throughout the piece in various forms, such as the  Crystal Palace, the Museum on top of the mountain, androgynous objects, phallic mother, marriage, state of trance through repetition and symbiotic experience. The basis of the piece is “necrophilia.” It is based on my secret romantic/aesthetic affairs with dead writers, artists and artworks.

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Osang Gwon at NY Photo Festival and Doosan Gallery

Posted in Arario Gallery, Osang Gwon by arariogallery on May 13, 2010

If you’re in New York for the next couple weeks there are two places you can see the photographic sculptures of artist Osang Gwon. NY Photo Festival celebrates the extensive photographic community prevalent in New York with curated pavilions highlighting a vast array of image makers. One pavilion includes Smack Mellon, which presents a show titled Use Me, Abuse Me, curated by Erik Kessels. Four sculptures by Osang Gwon nests alongside artists such as Lucas Blalock, Paul Kooiker and Ruth van Beek. The exhibition reveals how photographers use and manipulate the medium; collecting, copying, pasting, and abusing its original source. The festival runs through Sunday.

Doosan Gallery is proud to present a residency and exhibition of works by the artist, showing through June 5, 2010. The show features four sculptures that is an extension to his series Deodorant Type, many of which were shown at Arario New York. Deodorant Type was developed when Gwon discovered a failed advertisement for a deodorant product launched in Asia, as many Asians do not have perspiration problems, although deodorant is widely used in Western culture. For him, a deodorant product is aimed to cover a scent and to change it into a different odor. He once said, “It implies not showing the exact thing, but transforming it.” Observing the process of Deodorant Type is re-acknowledging the way we see things in life every day. Gwon takes multiple shots of a person or an object from every angle, practically tearing the subject apart in each picture under a microscope; he then recreates the subject in a three-dimensional sculpture. What one actually perceives might only capture a single aspect or a certain moment of the subject. In this sense, each photograph represents a single perception of the subject by taking different angles of the person or object; then, Gwon gathers these photographs into shapes for viewers to interpret, as if reifying the subject back to life as a slightly aloof entit

Now Through a Glass Darkly

Posted in Arario Gallery by arariogallery on May 7, 2010

Thank you everyone for attending the opening reception of Now Through a Glass Darkly at Arario New York. The show runs through June 26th so please make sure to stop by! Below are some installation and opening images, more to be found on our flickr page.