Wolfgang Stiller‘s series Matchstickmen are a depiction of people that are literally burnt out. The sculptures resemble giant match sticks, the the charred match head like a human head, ignited and tossed about the gallery. A play on the phrase ‘burnt out’, the series comments on the unending demand of human labor. Interestingly the installation was created while the German artist was living in China. However, Stiller says of the work:
“I don’t want to see it only as a critique on the Chinese system. Any other system in the world has the same problem. Big companies exploit their employees to make larger profits, all over the world. As long as we have affordable T-shirts or sneakers, we don’t really want to know whether they are made by children in India or not.” [via]
It’s difficult to gauge scale in the work of Petros Chrisostomou. The giant shoes seem so detailed; the galleries look immaculate. If you want to know I’ll spoil it for you…it’s the galleries that are tiny. Chrisostomou uses small mundane objects as the center of his photographs. He places these in the middle of amazingly detailed miniature galleries. Chrisostomou painstakingly gives attention to lighting, scale, perspective, and detail. The realism of his sets force the eye and mind to alternate between small and large scales, doubting each in the process.
The figures of Korean artist Wang Zi Won seem above all peaceful. His statues are also machines that perform prayers. He mixes Buddhist imagery with autobiographical depictions to illustrate a futuristic mix of technology and spirituality. It is interesting that Wang’s sculpture’s abandon the physical body – in a sense something Buddhism and visions of the future share in common. Indeed, his vision of the future seems to be a bit of an optimistic one. That is, one in which further harmony between man and machine leads to a more complete existence and identity. [via]
Korean artist Do Ho Suh has often explored thoughts on collective strength (and perhaps weakness) in his work before. However, his new sculpture Karma addresses a more personal collectivity. This enormous sculpture seems to stretch on perpetually. At the sculpture’s base a man stands with his eyes covered by another man crouching on his back. That man’s eyes are also covered by another man crouching on his back and this pattern appears to repeat ad infinitum. Perhaps a literal visual interpretation of the concept of karma or even the saying ‘history is doomed to repeat itself’.
The work of Korean artist Cha Jong-Rye looks like anything but wood. Her large pieces hang on the wall as if they were draped cloth, strange liquids, and geological formations. Her peculiar choice of medium undoubtedly references these and other ideas of nature and the home. She painstakingly carves her work from wood, often from hundreds of small pieces. She seems to crumple, pinch, and pull a material that’s especially rigid, typically found as a tree or house. They’re temptingly tactile – if no one in the gallery noticed I’d nearly be enticed to drag my fingers across their surface. [via]
Ana Bidart‘s sculptures resemble small geological models. She wears away layers and layers of paper to create each piece. Reminiscent of rolls of receipt paper or even toilet paper, her medium in this series usually has a particularly utilitarian purpose. Her sculptures emphasize the objects’ more poetic characteristics. Though solid and consistent in appearance Bidart exposes the many layers that form the whole. Her work easily lends itself to various metaphors.
Check out the artwork of Japanese artist Takahiro Iwasaki. “Not only are his small buildings and electrical towers excruciatingly small and delicate, but they also rest on absurdly mundane objects: rolls of tape, a haphazardly wrinkled towel, or from the bristles of a discarded toothbrush. Only on close inspection do the small details come into focus, faint hints of urbanization sprouting from disorder.” (via).
Guy Laramee delicately cuts caverns through the centers of books. He carves the pages away to reveal caves that seem to be ready to be explored. His work explores the insides of books in a very literal way. Indeed, Laramee’s sculptures in way recall the plot of a classic: Journey to the Center of the Earth. And, in fact, Laramee mentions this book in his statement on the series. He says:
“Like in Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, we seem to be chained to this quest. We “have to” know what lies inside things. But in doing so, we bury ourselves in the “about-ness” of our productions – language, function, etc- all things “about” other things.”