Critic's Note: The artist’s longtime praise of “ignorance” does not require abandoning intelligent perception of the world but rather depends on a physical confrontation, and moreover, it is a testimonial of the artist’s will to depend on his intuition in his artmaking. The impact of his output thus far has been more closely bound by a sardonic aesthetic rather than tragic beauty, which corresponds to the powerful effect of the abundant irony and humor in his work. The courageous but ill destined adventures of Don Quixote exhibit raw intuition, which together with the fate of the cow bound to his master, symbolize the downfall of desires. The cow in this context is neither the Zeus transformed into a cow, nor Nadi the cow of Shiva, nor the cow guiding the child to enlightenment. It is a representation of the untamed energy of the artist, as it is also representative of the desires of contemporary man rushing in vain towards his goal only to crash at the end of his course. Hence this ignorant cow alludes to the tumultuous civilization that rushes forth towards a catastrophic conclusion.
The artist worked on site in the desert acting as the artistic director for the International Dessert Art Project. Whereas Sung Dong Hun’s roadside sculpture project more closely resembled urban regeneration, the dessert art project was of a completely different nature from land art and process art. This challenging project begins by asking how art is possible in the harsh environment of the desert lacking machinery, electricity or power source. The know-how has been culled by the artist’s experiences from participating in the many sculpture symposiums held around the world. The fact that his work contains more plant references than animal themes also has to do with the timing of this project. If there is reference to animals it is of mythical creature or insects that are closer to nature. Also in terms of material and technique, his earlier reliance on iron and cement has been expanded to include glass beads, light, and kinetics. His positive attitude voiced in the artist's unique deep tone reassures his continued commitment to challenging artwork that asks tough questions.
Collection: Moran Museum
Artist's Education: Chungang University. Seoul, Korea. B.F.A., Sculpture.