Sabrina Amrani presents Jong Oh’s third solo show at the gallery titled ‘Merestone’. The exhibition’s title alludes to stones serving as reference points or markers delineating land boundaries. Within this exhibition, Jong Oh presents a solitary sculptural installation named ‘Room Drawing (merestone) #1,’ embodying a delicate equilibrium between the gallery’s features and the artwork itself.
Jong Oh’s unique artistic approach diverges from conventional studio-based creation. Instead, he crafts minimal sculptures on-site, tailored to the specific spatial context. Space serves as his muse, a vital component in his artistic process. His methodology is characterised by attentive receptivity, with a flexible and open mental disposition. This intuitive process allows him to keenly discern what the space suggests. Every facet of the environment can communicate with the artist: architectural nuances, play of light, the interplay of shadows, and even imperfections like marks and wall cracks become elements to which he responds. In essence, Oh’s work constitutes a dialogue he conducts with the space, a testament to their ongoing conversation.
Oh’s artworks emerge as responses to the nuanced configurations of each exhibition venue. He constructs spatial structures through the suspension and interconnection of select materials, including ropes, chains, fishing wire, marbles, wooden and metal rods, and painted cotton threads. These elements give the impression of hovering or standing independently. The viewer’s spatial relationship with these pieces determines whether they appear connected, intersecting, or entirely autonomous, thereby introducing additional dimensions to the ostensibly three-dimensional space. Lighting plays a crucial role in his compositions, as real shadows and graphite-drawn lines extend their ethereal structures, facilitating optical illusions and a dialogue of lines and planes.
Jong Oh invites viewers to scrutinise their perceptions and their interaction with the surrounding space, offering a meditative respite from the contemporary bustle. His art is akin to a subtle, refined visual haiku about the universality and auditory resonance of space. His practice defies the traditional assumption of sculpture as dense, weighty masses, instead presenting simple yet intricate drawings that accentuate the idiosyncrasies of their hosting spaces.
About Jong Oh
Jong Oh, born in Mauritania in 1981 and raised in Spain and South Korea, currently splits his artistic practice between Seoul and New York. What distinguishes his work is its unique approach—he forgoes a traditional studio, instead creating minimalist sculptures on-site, attuned to the specific spatial context. Employing materials like rope, chains, fishing wire, perspex, wooden and metal rods, and painted threads, he crafts spatial structures that seem to hover, creating a dynamic interplay between elements. Lighting plays a pivotal role, casting real shadows and graphite-drawn lines to foster optical illusions. Jong’s art defies sculpture norms, resembling intricate drawings that emphasise spatial peculiarities.
Jong Oh’s international presence includes exhibitions in the U.S., Korea, Mexico, and Europe, with works housed in notable public collections like the Maxine & Stuart Frankel Foundation in Michigan and the Kablanc Otazu Foundation in Navarra, Spain. He holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, having completed his BFA at Seoul’s Hongik University.
Dates: 14 September – 4 November 2023
Location: Sabrina Amrani, Madrid