The Union Gallery in Teesdale Street is going through a refit at the moment: as well as the exhibition space on the ground floor, a new showroom space is being developed in the basement. Soon-Hak Kwon, a Union regular, specialises in documenting the history of a gallery space by creating ultra-high resolution life-size images of the empty space and of the walls scarred by nails and fixings after an exhibition has been un-installed.
His current exhibition documents the past and present of Union’s downstairs showroom, as well as pointing to its future as a white cube.
For the past, he has captured the surface of the old wall of what was formerly an artist’s studio and pasted it onto the newly plastered surface of the same wall. As is characteristic of his work, the flaws in the surface are captured in merciless detail, so that the result almost looks three dimensional.
For the present, Kwon has captured the current state of the gallery space in three full-size images and arranged them artfully in the room. If you stand in just the right spot the images seem to disappear, or merge into the surrounding space, but then as you move slightly you are disoriented by the sudden breakdown in perspective, as if you are in a hall of mirrors.
Finally, he has looked to the future of the room as a white cube space. The white wall he has documented is the wall that was behind his altarpiece Ecce Homo in his previous Union show, The Truth is in the Detail three years ago. Also captured in the image is part of his History of History of Union Gallery IV in which he recreates the hexagonal mirror array of James Webb Space Telescope.
On Friday night’s PV it was pleasantly busy – and it was good to get to chat to the artist again after so long – but it’s well worth visiting during the day to enjoy the space on your own.
Soon-Hak Kwon, everynothing, is at Union Gallery until 4 November 2017