Park Seung Mo

Stainless Steel Wire, cm

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About the artwork

Korean artist Park Seung Mo creates stunning and captivating portraits, through his painstaking technique of layering and manipulating frames of wire mesh. In this work, a portrait of a woman is created, who appears to be lying and gazing towards the viewer. While the work itself is photorealistic, it has a dream-like aura, that is ethereal and hauntingly evocative. The woman’s gaze transfixes viewers as it bores deep into us and we yearn to learn more about her and her circumstance that has been captured. Yet ultimately she remains frustratingly ambiguous and elusive, like a beautiful mirage that we are unsure if we are really seeing or simply dreaming.

About the artist

Born in Korea in 1969, Park Seung Mo graduated from Dong-A University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1998 and is based in Brooklyn. He explores fundamental ideas through the use of forms, creating large ephemeral portraits by layering frames of wire mesh together and cutting through the layers to create depth. Each work begins with a photograph which is superimposed upon the overlapping layers of wire with a projector. He then employs a subtractive technique of snipping away areas of mesh and netting. Each piece is several inches thick and the plane that forms the final image contains spaces that are a few finger widths apart, which contribute depth, movement and dimensionality to the portraits. 

In works such as Mong-hwan (Fantasy), Hwan-sang (Illusion) and Hwan-myeol (Disillusion), Park speaks of ‘hwan’ or fantasies and visions that feel as if they were real. He turns these fantasies into visual illusion of wire and explains “what is important for me is showing the audience the moment where the boundary between the real and the illusion break down.”

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