Monday, January 13, 2014

A few questions with Gyun Hur

Posted By on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM

A detail from A System of Interiority
  • Photo by Christina Price Washington / Courtesy of Get This! Gallery
  • A detail from A System of Interiority

Gyun Hur's A System of Interiority, her second solo show at Get This! Gallery, opened this month. With the help of lighting designer Rebecca Makus and writers Kristin Juarez, Lilly Lampe, and Ruiyan Xu, Hur expresses a sense of loss through different materials including dirt, silk, and glitter, all spread through glass, cement and light panels.

Hur is the recipient of the 2010 Hudgens Prize and an Artadia Award in 2011, among other honors. She corresponded with CL all the way from Hong Kong, where she is an instructor at SCAD's Hong Kong campus, about the psychology of spaces and how living out of a suitcase inspired her work.

The exhibition A System of Interiority continues to illustrate the theme of loss as past exhibitions. How did you prepare for this show?
I've been quite nomadic this past year, living out of two suitcases in different countries and states. Even when I was home, I was living out of suitcases, jumping from one place to another. This sort of living condition made me become a lot more aware of my surroundings. In this past year, a continual theme that came out of my writing and drawing was this sense of exposure, things flooding out of one's system. You can perhaps see that as another form of loss. When I was teaching in Italy, this sense of 'time' was completely exposed with its architecture and buildings. I wanted to see if I could somehow bring that into my installation.

You collaborated with a lighting designer and writers this time around. How did you share a vision and work together? How was this experience different from other solo shows?
I met Rebecca Makus, the lighting designer, through the collaborative project Hippodrome in March 2013. I saw my materials transforming so dramatically under Rebecca's lighting work and Lauri Stallings' choreography. I saw the potential of my work evolving in a way that I would not have dared to experiment otherwise. She is so brilliant and has taught me so much about light. Rebecca was sensitive to my vision and materials, but I also wanted her work, her lighting and sculptural element of her light flooring system to be present in my show. It took a lot of conversations, sketches, revisions, and also trust.

As for my writer friends, I have established meaningful and personal relationship with each one of them. We all come from a very similar generational time, and although our backgrounds all vary, I feel very strong bonds with each one of them. I knew that if I could put a project together with them and utilizing a gallery space as an experimental box, that it could be quite explosive.

I wanted the installation to be not so digestable at one glance. I wanted to create a space where you would forget this particular context of gallery.

Gyun Hurs A System of Interiority
  • Photo by Christina Price Washington / Courtesy of Get This! Gallery
  • Gyun Hur's A System of Interiority

How did you choose what materials to work with in your floor installations?
I wanted to show glass in a way that it would bring forth the conversation of fragility, tension, and encasement. Glass is a moving object, between liquid and solid. Each glass panel is about 250 pounds and holding almost weightless silk powders. The tempered glass panels started to act almost like a mirror, reflecting the materials put on top.

My usage of dirt, black glitter, black silk flowers, and charcoal powder came from my intention to create a floor that would create a sense of raw flood. This mixture, I felt that, also would create a sense of mystified history and time. Such materials also have a lot of physical weight to it - the dirt alone is about 300 pounds. I thought it would be a great contrast against the silk flowers, which are so powerfully colorful yet weightless.

The exhibition explores the psychology of spaces and perspective.
We are constantly bombarded by endless images and words, and we often get lost in the midst of them, get lost in the midst of our daily way of existence. Such a way of living, to me, can change by traveling outside of normality. I believe that arts and culture do that - allowing people to go through a psychological and emotional landscape that is rich, honest, humane, and raw. I am interested in creating a conversation regarding that sort of experience.

What's next for you?
This exhibition seems like a new beginning for me. I am currently residing in Hong Kong, and I absolutely have no idea what is ahead of me. No exhibition or residencies planned for now, and strangely enough, it gives me a sense of anticipation and freedom. I feel excited more than ever what is to come in the next few years.

A System of Interiority, a solo exhibition of work by Gyun Hur, runs through March 1 at Get This! Gallery. Every Wednesday, the gallery will extend their hours to 7 p.m. to allow for nighttime viewing of the light installation. More details at the gallery.

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