The solo exhibition of Shinuk Suh, Veiled Memories elicits an uncanny aura suggested by its title, indicating a departure from his previous practices. This sensibility contributes to the serene atmosphere within the exhibition hall, which brims with energy and remains free from the clamor of small mechanical sounds and vibrations. However, delving into the process of Suh’s work reveals a vibrant and intricate world that remains hidden from us. In Suh’s practice, the body serves as an object symbolising the individual and as a medium and vessel for one’s memory that has permeated various societies and histories. The sculpted figures are extracted by translating the internal development and transformative process into tangible forms through 3D modeling, which acts as a conduit for his ideological components. While the specific ideological elements in his work may not be immediately evident, they serve as markers of the ongoing flow of transformation. Furthermore, they function as mirrors to unveil the underlying meaning behind one’s actions and a conceptual process that entails introspection and societal reflection, ultimately reshaping history. These elements are double-edged swords encompassing harmony and conflict yet instilling us with a sense of anticipation for pure and cyclical functionality.
Memorial Tools (2023), which welcomes visitors with a surrounding aura of green lights upon entering the gallery, is a sculpture that represents the transfigured form of an individual’s body. It intersects, expands, and contracts ideological modules within a virtual space. Embedded within the body are various mechanisms that control memory, including the brain, sensory faculties such as vision, hearing, and taste, as well as movements, muscles, and even wounds. The individual memories are symbolically depicted by eight green lights, which metaphorically represent Louis Pierre Althusser’s eight ideological classifications. These lights not only visually penetrate the sculpture but also define its boundaries concerning the surrounding environment, accentuating the fluidity of the artwork. The spatial atmosphere centering around the sculpture Memorial Tools represents the experimentation and outcome of his ongoing research in visualising his conceptual ideology.
Transformable Mapping #1-4 (2023) is a series of visual renderings that unfolds each stage of transformation while elaborating on the principles underlying the artwork Memorial Tools in greater detail. These mappings can be likened to maps or records documenting the transitional process leading to the current form. They serve as manuals that enable us to trace the ever-evolving conceptual roots of individuals and society, responding sensitively to subtle figures, and altering their texture following the lighting and location in a shared virtual background. This artistic intervention indicates multiple possibilities without being constrained by any physical limitations of representation.
Shinuk Suh’s focus on ‘kinetic’ and ‘mobility/movement’ within his work evoked the connection to the iconic kinetic art exhibition The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age (27 Nov 1968 – 9 Feb 1969) curated by Pontus Hultén at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Hultén’s exhibition incorporated nearly 1,000 years of kinetic art history, highlighting the evolution of mobility, presenting over 200 works ranging from Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings to Nam June Paik’s video art. While explicit movement may not be anticipated within Suh’s serene exhibition space, yet this new body of experimentation substantiates the expansive mobility that Suh has ventured into across other realms. Suh’s artistic boundaries encompass the potential for ideological transformation penetrating both individuals and society, thereby offering a fresh perspective that transcends not only the reality but also virtual reality. Suh will continue and inspire many others through the Veiled Memories exhibition at the Daniel Benjamin Gallery.
About the artist
Shinuk Suh (b. 1988) is an artist based in Seoul and London. He received an MFA in sculpture from Slade School of Fine Art and a Fine Arts BA from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.
Shinuk Suh has participated in many solo exhibitions and group exhibitions.
Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Invites:ShinukSuh, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2022); PLAYTHINGS, The Foundry, Seoul (2022); Post-Human Syndrome, BEERS London, London (2021); Rendered Reality, Korean Cultural Centre UK, London (2020); Man(u)fractured, Unit1 Gallery | Workshop, London (2019); Insigni cant Tension, Daniel Benjamin Gallery, London (2019).
Select group exhibitions include The Worm at The Core, Set Woolwich, London (2022); Certeza, Colecciōn SOLO, Madrid (2022); Gilbert Bayes Awards 2021 by Royal Society of Sculptors, Chromwell Place, London (2022); Arte Publicoby UVNT, Cerquone Gallery and UVNT, Madrid (2022); Hi, How Are You?, Cerquone Gallery, Madrid (2021); Peach Fuzz, The Factory Project, London (2021); Hi, How Are You?, Cerquone Gallery, Madrid (2021); FBA Futures 2020, Mall Galleries, London (2020); La Totale 2020, Studio Orta, Les Moulins (2020).