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Shan Hur

Artist 285

Shan Hur

Sculptural interventions

Architectural Exploration

Shan Hur (born 1980) is a Korean artist who works and lives in London and Seoul. He is known for his sculptural interventions which disrupt the viewer’s perception of the gallery space. It changes the mindset of the gallery acting as a white cube or an art container. Instead his work directly implicating the gallery as such the gallery is an active element in the artwork itself.

Shan Hur might best be described as an architectural interventionist.

Through his subtle objects and installations, he transforms ordinary spaces—including galleries, disused offices, and building facade. He turns them into construction sites, revealing a beauty in the mundane and an unexpected reality.

He upends the conventional notions of what constitutes a work of art. He is inspired by shuttered shops and construction sites, locations poised between openness and solidity, where the guts of our otherwise veneered urban environments are temporarily exposed.

His interventions have included gauging holes into columns and scratching crevices into walls, into which he inserts such curiosities as stoneware or coins. “I feel that my art doesn’t truly exist until people fully discover it,” Hur has stated, and indeed, to see his art, viewers must first recognize it.

Hur’s fascination with the moment of transition when a particular space is reconfigured for a new purpose reflects the veneer of urbanization.

A veneer is a thin layer that is very delicate. in literal terms it’s used to discuss varnish or a clear layer on wood but here we use it to describe the illusion of control and normalcy of the urban world we have created.

His art brings the stability of the building into question which can be a disturbing thought. We take the security of the walls around us for granted.

Part of the beauty in Shan Hur’s is the discrete and coherent fusion of his sculpture with its structure. The process of finding the art is half the fun and the thought process becomes ones of archeologists in search of discovery.

This sensation clashes with the fact it is in fact something new and intact. It is not an excavation but a sculpted space.

Shan Hur explains his ethos, “Walking through the debris I have feelings that are neither positive or negative because certain things have already happened and are progressing in a certain direction. Such scenes interest me as they temporarily sidestep into silence and incompleteness. I like the way something is revealed in this gap.

Sculptures bigger than human scale seem to be exaggerated. One of the issues I have focused on is how to reduce the burden of the volume of sculpture. I then connect this mass to it's surroundings, but not just as a part of the whole.

I think sculpture should communicate with it's circumstances.”

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