cubes and stripes

Bongchull Shin makes art a physical experience. His artworks bring nature and the effects of physics into exhibition spaces. Glass, bright colours and either natural or artificial light and its resulting shadows and reflections are elements which occur repeatedly in his works. As the name suggests, Bongchull Shin’s cubes and stripes series concerns cubic shapes and long slim glass stripes in which the artist’s focus on light, colour and shape is evident.

The work B6614 covers a wall space of 150x300cm. Endless identical blue shimmering cubes appear in regular intervals. By contrast Alpenweg (Mountain Trail) is dominated by numerous differently sized and coloured glass blocks with no concrete arrangement. Spanning an area of 130x130cm, these shapes project colours of blue, yellow, pink, red and green. Both structured and unstructured light beams passing through both artworks create colour-intensive reflections on the wall, the floor and in the immediate area. When presenting his installations in exhibition spaces with little natural light, the artist uses several differently positioned sources of artificial light to imitate the natural movement of the sun. The reflections appear like a colourfully woven carpet and change position depending on the way the light falls and the position of the observer. At first glance this work might remind one of Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s Your solar nebula. This work is a cluster of 328 different sized glass spheres clinging to the wall like water pearls. In contrast to this well-known work which only takes on colourful form through reflection of its surroundings, Bongchull Shin controls the colour intensity of his glass works through wafer-thin coloured layers inserted into the spaces between the glass sheets within the cubes and stripes. So depending on the vantage point the glass blocks appear both coloured as well as transparent and translucent. The overlapping of different coloured shadows and projections causes new colour tones to emerge. The movement of the observer is therefore inherent in Bongchull Shin’s cubes and stripes works. They only come to life when movement occurs.

By concentrating on the medium of light and resulting colourful reflections, the artist eludes to his affinity with the artistic impressionism of early modernism. Bongchull Shin strives to present his works using sun and daylight. His work therefore ideally becomes public art, developed in dialogue with urban and contemporary architecture in the public realm.

– Mira Nass –