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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2013
Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 6-8 pm
SOBIN PARK. THE MANDATE OF HEAVEN
Solo exhibition at The Gabarron Foundation
The Gabarron Foundation – Carriage House Center for the Arts - 149 East38th St, New York, NY
SOBIN PARK. THE MANDATE OF HEAVEN solo exhibition, curated by Thalia Vrachopoulos and Suechung Koh.The exhibition will be on view from September 22nd to Octobrer 23rd, 2013 at the Gabarron Foundation in New York City. The opening reception with the artist and curators will be on September 25, 2013.
Sobin Park’s work may have started with suggestive courtly love imagery that some critics of her recent show at the Gwangju City Museum read as the Korean Puseoksa legend of the love story of Uisang and the maiden Seonmyo. But, her most recent work places greater emphasis on the heavens, the dragon, and historic tradition dotted with contemporary cities. The city is full traditional temples but also of skyscrapers that plunge into the depths, rise, twist, and turn according to the dragon’s movement as if on a mountain top or on a dragon’s hump. So that, one might say that Park is accessing her own Korean Shamanistic beliefs that placed the dragon as the all-powerful divine royal creature associated with controlling catastrophic natural events. But, Park may also be referencing the recent natural catastrophes that have up-ended whole cities around the world tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes. In many of these recent works the maiden has been conflated or become one with the dragon.
Park’s work references the worldly or material as a small part of the divine or heavenly. Her monumental works that depict dragon, heavenly clouds, that are dotted with parts of cities, cease to be about courtly love, if indeed they ever were, and becomes about the struggle for power, fight to stay alive within the churning dynamism of the dragon’s tail that threatens to submerge.
The dragon’s scales have at this time conflated with the clouds and woman’s hair resulting in huge areas of whorls, swirls, curls that in their circular shape migrate, shift and flow displacing solidity to become spirit or void. Park’s dragon, woman and serpent have merged into one abstract circular shape. We saw this type of development in Kandinsky’s work as well, when he abstracted the St. George (rider, horse, lance) leitmotif more and more until it culminated into a circle as seen in his work entitled Several Circles, 1926. This recent abstracting evolution in Park can be seen as an effort to break out of naturalistic representation to become more symbolic and inwardly moving.
Thalia Vrachopoulos holds a doctorate in the Philosophy of Art History from the City University of New York Graduate School. She has curated over one hundred national and international exhibitions, biennials, accompanied by scholarly catalogues. Dr. Vrachopoulos is an Associate Professor of visual arts at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York.
Suechung Koh began her career as a classical pianist with a Master’s degree in music from the Manhattan School of Music. For the past 6 years Koh has been mounting celebrated exhibitions after having completed her curatorial training with Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos, Professor of Fine Arts and Curatorial Studies at John Jay College of the City University of New York.
The Gabarron Foundation – Carriage House Center for the Arts is a non-profit organization and an exclusive international center specializing in art exhibitions and other cultural activities. Its main objective is the promotion of Culture, making this multicultural space a reference in the City of New York. Since 2002 the Carriage House has aspired to be an excellent platform for the propagation of Hispanic culture in the United States. This organization promotes exchange and understanding between cultures, providing a space for interaction and enhanced appreciation of emerging and established cultural figures from a diverse palette of countries.