Shinuk Suh’s first solo show at Daniel Benjamin Gallery is a product of social media: the gallery told me that they discovered Shinuk’s work on Instagram, were captivated by it, and decided to offer him a solo show. It’s amazing that such lucky breaks can happen, but based on the work on show the artist has a bright future.
The artist specialises in installations which often involve motors or flat screen TV panels, and play off reflections, reverse images and precarious equilibrium.
The installation on the street level certainly evidenced a certain precariousness. A perforated tube sends a fine watery mist onto a piece of laundry which a couple of motorised mechanical arms, fixed to lightweight metal shelving units, are attempting to wring dry. (Wring me harder (2018))
As we watched, the laundry got ever tauter while the arms continued to wring – eventually toppling one of the shelving units. Fortunately the artist was on hand to perform some reconstruction work.
Downstairs were some safer installations. In one alcove, a collection of motorised white sports socks writhed like injured earthworms. (Study of Schizophrenia (2018))
In another alcove was something that reminded me of Nam June Paik’s TV Buddha: a chair was placed opposite a TV image of itself. In the TV version of the chair, a pile of white blocks were piled precariously on the seat as the chair wobbled as if shaken by an invisible force. The pile of blocks topples over, and one of the blocks appears to fall out of the TV screen onto the floor of the alcove. (An Unsound Slumber (2018)).
In the main space downstairs three other pieces were installed: Where has the sugar come from? (2017) | The Silent Majority (2019) | and the largest, Complexity 2 (2019). All captivating variations on a theme involving the interaction of reality with its video mirror image.
The artist has a good website with videos of each of the works – much better than my own paltry efforts. Go have a browse at www.shinuksuh.com.