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Sun K. Kwak: Enfolding 280 Hours

DATES March 27, 2009 through July 5, 2009
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
RELATED LINKS Main Exhibition Page
  • Sun K. Kwak Enfolding 280 Hours
    In her site-specific installations, Sun K. Kwak uses black masking tape to create sprawling freehand drawings that weave over the surfaces of architectural spaces. With her artistic interventions, Kwak attempts to adjust the inherent visual and emotional qualities of a space. Just as the “feel” of a room influences one’s mood or energy, Kwak’s installations can produce an effect on the viewer ranging from subtle and calming to startling and dramatic.

    Korean-born and New York City–based, Kwak was formally trained as a painter. During her course of studies in New York, she arrived at her unique technique of working freehand with masking tape, drawing directly on the surfaces of architectural spaces such as stairwells; lobbies of public buildings; small galleries; and museum façades. Her installations create spaces and experiences that fall between drawing and sculpture: walking into her creation is like walking into a sheet of black line drawing. The scale of her drawings and the visual forms, which suggest directional force or even the push-and-pull of the ocean, are meant to alter the viewer’s visceral perception of the space.

    Sun K. Kwak’s installation at the Brooklyn Museum was specifically created for this gallery. Following the process that she uses for all of her site-specific installations, the artist visited the Museum and spent time examining and documenting the space before executing the drawing. The title of the work, Enfolding 280 Hours, has dual significance. In one sense, it refers to the estimated number of hours spent on the project. In another sense, it suggests the process by which disparate energies inherent in the space are harnessed and synthesized by the centripetal force of horizontal lines racing in opposite directions around the gallery.

    Judy Kim, Curator of Exhibitions

    Special thanks to Shurtape Technologies, LLC and Ch’i Contemporary Fine Art.
  • February 1, 2009 Korean-born, New York-based artist Sun K. Kwak will create a site-specific work composed of approximately three miles of black masking tape in the fifth-floor Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery of the Brooklyn Museum. Sun K. Kwak: Enfolding 280 Hours will be on view March 27 through July 5, 2009. The mural-like piece will be affixed to the walls and four pillars in the Rotunda.

    The exhibition’s title, Enfolding 280 Hours, references the number of hours that the artist estimates that it will take her and her assistants to install the piece in the Brooklyn Museum gallery. Work on the installation will begin in early February, and Museum visitors will be able to view the work in progress. At the end of the Brooklyn presentation, the masking tape will be peeled off the columns and walls and discarded, following photographic documentation of the installation.

    Masking tape, a medium that Kwak pioneered, has become her signature form of expression. Having discovered that drawing with masking tape expresses an immediacy she missed in painting, Kwak continues to challenge perceptions of familiar surroundings through this technique, which for her is both meditative and performance.

    Kwak’s site-specific installations, which create dialogues with the architecture that houses them, may be found in public and private spaces, among them a major public art project completed in 2007 that is a permanent feature in the Samsung Life Building lobby in Seoul, Korea. Smaller masking-tape-on-panel works are in private collections throughout the United States. Recently Sun K. Kwak created another masking-tape installation at the Queens Museum of Art satellite galleries at the Bulova Corporate Center titled Time and Space III: Tidal Wave, which was inspired by the fountain, streams, and waterfall in the building’s concourse.

    Special thanks to Shurtape Technologies, LLC and Ch’i Contemporary Fine Art.

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