Korean soap sculptor Meekyoung Shin gets major London solo – pictures

KOREAN CONTEMPORARY ART ARTIST GALLERY SHOW

February sees the the first major solo exhibition in the United Kingdom of Korean artist Meekyoung Shin. Held at London’s Haunch of Venison, the exhibition showcases a mixture of sculptural pieces and installations from the artist’s ongoing body of work, “Translation”, all crafted from soap.

Meekyoung Shin, "Translation Series", 2009, soap, pigment, varnish, mirrored steel plate and wooden crate, dimensions variable. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, "Translation Series", 2009, soap, pigment, varnish, mirrored steel plate and wooden crate, dimensions variable. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy of Haunch of Venison.

Click here to read more about Meekyoung Shin’s solo on the Haunch of Venison website.

The artist, who has trained in both Korea and London, at Seoul National University and the Slade School of Fine Art respectively, explores the sculptural traditions of the two cultural influences that have shaped her career: the East and the West. She draws inspiration from classical European sculpture and sixteenth century Chinese export porcelain, the forms of which she translates into the medium of soap.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Venus’, 1998, soap, pigment and varnish, figure: 123 x 73 x 45 cm, pedastal: 102 x 85 x 60cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Images courtesy Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Venus’, 1998, soap, pigment and varnish, figure: 123 x 73 x 45 cm, pedastal: 102 x 85 x 60cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy of Haunch of Venison.

The delicate floral aroma that fills the gallery space confirms that the work is created from soap and the artist challenges the sculptural qualities of this material, producing highly refined works that are at first glance seemingly identical to the originals.

Shin is highly praised in a review in Crafts Magazine, which commends her work “ for its sheer technical virtuosity.”

From a distance these elaborately decorated vases could be mistaken for the originals. But what makes them so extraordinary is the fact that they’re actually made out of soap. The idea is to question the value and authority of the originals by re-working them in a humble domestic material.

Below is a view of some of the works on display:

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Kuros Series #3’, 2010, soap, pigment and varnish, 145 x 52 x 43 cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Kuros Series #3’, 2010, soap, pigment and varnish, 145 x 52 x 43 cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy of Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Translation- Greek’, 1998, soap, pigment and varnish, figure: 123 x 73 x 45 cm, pedastal: 102 x 85 x 60cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Translation- Greek’, 1998, soap, pigment and varnish, figure: 123 x 73 x 45 cm, pedastal: 102 x 85 x 60cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy of Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Crushed Gilded Bronze Vase’, 2009, soap, copper leaf and varnish,  31 x 27 x 23 cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Crushed Gilded Bronze Vase’, 2009, soap, copper leaf and varnish, 31 x 27 x 23 cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy of Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Ghost Series (Red)’, 2010, soap, dimensions variable. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Ghost Series (Red)’, 2010, soap, dimensions variable. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy of Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Ghost Series (Purple)’, 2010, soap, dimensions variable. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Ghost Series (Purple)’, 2010, soap, dimensions variable. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Translation Series’, 2009, soap, pigment, varnish, mirrored steel plate and wooden crate, dimensions variable. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Translation Series’, 2009, soap, pigment, varnish, mirrored steel plate and wooden crate, dimensions variable. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy of Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Kuros Series #1’, 2010, soap, 140 x 44 x 33 cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Kuros Series #1’, 2010, soap, 140 x 44 x 33 cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy of Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Crouching Aphrodite’, 2002, soap, 112 x 38 x 60 cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy Haunch of Venison.

Meekyoung Shin, ‘Crouching Aphrodite’, 2002, soap, 112 x 38 x 60 cm. © Meekyoung Shin. Image courtesy of Haunch of Venison.

“Translation” will be on shown at Haunch of Venison in London until 2 April 2011.

CL/KN/HH

Related Topics: Korean artists, sculpture, classic/contemporary, gallery shows

Related Posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar for more on Asian sculpture in London


Comments

Korean soap sculptor Meekyoung Shin gets major London solo – pictures — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you for your commment, Edward. We do try to avoid bias so it is great to have a different opinion on the work and really appreciate your insight.

  2. It’s a very interesting concept, but, and perhaps this is a bit of a biased assessment, while I find the work to be very well-done, it also seems too derivative, to the point where its most distinguishing feature is not the actual style or choice of subject, but only the material.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.