Ephemeral and translucent, Soo Sunny Park's artwork floats above your head, seemingly as delicate and playful as clouds. Yet the undulating shapes of Park's Unwoven Light are fashioned of chainlink fencing welded by the artist into a rigid state. The piece, which goes on display tomorrow at the Rice Gallery, is about transparency and the ever-shifting interplay of light and color at the same time that it is about boundaries.
April 11-August 30
6100 Main Street
Light, Park says, generally goes unnoticed. We see what light reveals but not the light itself. Her work brings the interplay of light, color, and geometry to the forefront. With Unwoven Light, which will remain on display through August 30, Park fills the cells of the chainlink fencing with thousands of iridescent acrylic Plexiglas plates. The colors change from clear to golden to purple to hot pink, depending on the light and where you stand in relation to the sculpture, which is suspended from the ceiling with wire.
An associate professor of studio art at Dartmouth College, Park says the contradictions in her sculpture are derived as much from the experiences of her childhood as from art theory. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she moved to the United States with her parents at the age of nine. They settled in Marietta, Georgia, a mostly white suburb of Atlanta. "I was one of the few Asian kids in town," she says. "There were few minorities." Though she wasn't really aware of being different as a child, she says she realizes now that she viewed her new world at a remove - as if looking through a fence.
Unwoven Light opens Thursday at 5 p.m. and Park will speak about the work at 6. There also will be a gallery talk and luncheon on Friday at noon. A complimentary light lunch will be provided. Both events, and the exhibition, are free.