Artworks in Arcadja1
Some works of Shin MeekyoungExtracted between 1 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Sotheby's -Apr 5, 2010 - Hong KongLot number: 382
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
180,000—220,000 HKD LOT 382 SHIN MEEKYOUNG B. 1967 TRANSLATION- VASE 180,000—220,000 HKD 75(h) by 45 by 45 cm.; 29 1/2 by 17 3/4 by 17 3/4 in. executed in 2007 soap and pigment EXHIBITED Seoul, Mongin Art Center, Translation, November 2007 - February2008 Seoul, Seoul National University Museum, Translation-MoAProject, April-July 2008Seoul, Seoul City Museum, Art and Synesthesia, March-June 2009Paris, Lefebvre & Fils Gallery, Translation, 2009 Seoul, KukjeGallery, Translation, November 19 - December 31, 2009 CATALOGUE NOTE This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issuedby the artist. A globular body surmounted by a tall cylindrical neck with agently splayed mouth, delicately painted against afamille-noire background with ripe peaches growing onflowering branches, their gnarled boughs curving up and around thevase, the peaches each painted with shades of yellow deepening to araspberry pink at the tips.... Out of a cursory glance, a rare and magnificent "famille-noire"enamelled vase with Yongzheng mark sits gracefully before our eyes.Upon closer inspection, however, a vigilant observer will discernthe slight asymmetry of the potting, the uncanny patina of thesurface and finally, the curious aroma that is being emanated.Translation—Vase is not Chinese porcelain but a closereplica created out of soap by Korean female sculptor ShinMeekyoung. The artist's celebrated Translation seriescomprises of sculptures that draw inspiration from and take afterarchaic objects and prized artifacts from some of the greatestclassical civilizations of the world. Statues and busts ofmythological gods from ancient Greece, Goryeo ceramics from theChosun Dynasty and fine porcelain of imperial China are a fewexamples. The medium of choice is soap, the operative element behind theact of translating. Shin Meekyoung starts with a silicone mold ofthe intended shape of the sculpture, into which she pours liquidmelted soap. Upon coagulation, she then carves out the interior ifneeded then paints on the surface of the product with naturalpigments. The crisp outline that delineates the motifs and patternswe see so clearly on the "Chinese porcelain" is executed through aninlay method using tinted liquid soap. To conclude, an iridescentveneer of glaze is bestowed upon the work with a final layer ofsoap. Methodologies differ in the nuances for the various artifactsShin sets out to construct. Their contents, though, remain constantand every single piece is invariably a creation of soap in all itsperishability and transience. The premise of Translation is simple yet the implicationsso profound. Through recreating these icons of the highest culturalachievement, Shin revives, reinterprets and reinvents. Theephemeral nature of soap does not escape the artist and is, infact, brought to the fore through performances devised to exposethe material to the natural elements as well as perhaps moresignificantly, the human hand. At Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Artlast year, Greco-Roman statues were installed al fresco and left todisintegrate gradually. Prior to this exhibition, Translation—Toilet Project involved the artist's placement of miniatureBuddha casts in public toilets in Seoul and in London, where thepieces were meant for pragmatic use as a cleaning agent and thus,eroded by the human touch. Having always been intrigued by themeaning with which an object is imbued when placed behind glass atthe galleries within museum walls, Shin Meekyoung presents heraudience with a visual quandary. No longer made of marble,porcelain or glass yet retaining the same external appearance, doesthe artifact conjure up the same cultural significance andhistorical context? The artist probes into the polemic ofexpectations based on artificial constructs and human-devisedsettings. Just like a Greco-Roman bust would have held a completelydifferent set of meanings during the era of its conception from itsnational treasure status enthroned and immortalized in anarchaeological museum today, Shin Meekyoung's soap duplicatesassume yet another new role, offering novel dimensions and markinganother instance in the temporal progression of art history.