Tina Kim, who opera the fine art exhibition space Tina Kim Gallery in New York, is installing a giant bronze teddy bear in TriBeCa Park this May created by Korean artist Gimhongsok. What could be more amusing than seeing a dash of contemporary art in the already artistic neighborhood of TriBeCa? Nicole Calderon of Tina Kim Gallery said in a statement that Bearlike Construction “challenges the viewer to consider the contradictions and blurred boundaries of fact and fiction, originality and the copy, banality and the spectacular.”
The five-foot-tall installation called Bearlike Construction is made of bronze, but appears as if it were made of trash bags. Gimhongsok has said of his work: “I am certain that my concepts are not indecipherable. My personality might cause difficulties in communicating with others. Another reason is that I don’t have a single visual style. Audiences have to ‘read’ my works to understand them.” It will be interesting to see if TriBeCa audiences need a bit of a nudge in understanding the sculpture, or if the piece will speak for itself. Tina Kim points out that as a sculptor, painter, and filmmaker, Gimhongsok’s work seeks to blur the line between the creator and the creation, making the art-making process more transparent.
According to an artist biography housed on Tina Kim’s website, Seoul-born Gimhongsok’s work can be seen in collections from Canada to France, the United States to Japan. The much-admired artist is also known internationally through his frequent participation in high-profile international biennials like Gwangju, Venice, Taipei, Valencia and Tirana, according to Art Asia Pacific. This May the five-foot installation represented by Chelsea-based Tina Kim Gallery will replace Cheryl Farber Smith’s Mello Yellow.
One art critic said of the sculpture: “The sculpture appeared to be trash bags, and made me question what I had abandoned along with my childhood.”