Lora Reynolds is pleased to announce a project-room exhibition of site-responsive sculpture by Jong Oh—the artist’s first presentation at the gallery.
Oh’s barely visible sculptures are like three-dimensional geometric drawings made with string, metal rods, Plexiglas, fine necklace chain, and fishing line. His lines are spare, taut, and often form right angles. Although his compositions sometimes clearly protrude from a wall, many of his works seem to defy the laws of physics and float, unmoored from any architectural anchor.
In some cases, the tautness of Oh’s wall-bound pieces comes from thin metal rods that he mounts perpendicular to the wall. The rods are only slightly thicker than Oh’s trademark string, so at first glance read less like a different material than as a line of somewhat heavier weight. In other sculptures that appear to hover, Oh achieves tension through clever engineering. At the bottom of a long vertical string (that is attached to several other lines) might be a small calibration weight that keeps the entire sculpture in tension. Or Oh might tie fishing line to his sculptures at strategic points and then secure the monofilament to the ceiling or a nearby wall. This invisible support system creates the illusion of a single, unbroken piece of string making 90-degree turns on X, Y, and Z axes—unsupported, in midair. Another device he often uses to similar effect is attaching a piece of (nearly invisible) white string to the wall or ceiling, and painting it black (rendering it visible) only where it intersects with a second piece of painted string—making the two perpendicular black lines appear to be a single mysterious levitating shape.
Many artworks incorporate a piece of clear Plexiglas that Oh suspends in space. The face of the acrylic sheet is perceptible when it catches the reflection of a nearby spotlight or casts a shadow on an adjacent wall. From certain angles, only the edges of the acrylic sheet are visible—crisp lines that look remarkably similar to those that Oh creates with other materials. (Aside from string, chain, and metal rods, Oh also makes lines with a pencil—directly on the wall—so thin and straight they are easily misidentified as string.)
Jong Oh’s work requires close attention. It recedes with a humble grace, calling as much attention to the architecture and empty space around it as to itself. It deals in balance and synergy, the delights of perception, and acts as reminder that magic is all around us all the time—if we choose to see it.
Jong Oh, born in 1981 in Mauritania, lives and works in New York. He has mounted solo shows
at Art in General’s Musée Miniscule (New York), deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (Massachusetts), Seoul Museum of Art (South Korea), and UConn Contemporary Art Galleries (Connecticut). He has participated in exhibitions at ARTER (Istanbul), BRIC Rotunda Gallery (New York), GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst (Germany), Hudson Valley MOCA (New York), Jebiwool Art Museum (South Korea), and Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden (Germany).