Catching the buzz from a ‘Fabricated Image’

Arts / Article

Installation of “Fiction of the Fabricated Image.”

One of the main spaces in the large, two-story Zadok Gallery in Wynwood almost looks like a house of bee hives. Columns of black specs seem to buzz from ceiling to floor. It’s a magnificent sight. The installation is, in fact, made from charcoal pieces hung on almost invisible nylon strings that are attached from roof to floor; some of the columns are more fully filled out, others are sparse and scattered, giving the effect that the columns are spinning and crumbling. Maybe they are not bee hives, maybe they are more like funnels of debris.

They are the work of Seoul-based Seon Ghi Bahk, who has exhibited at Zadok before with similar delicate sculptures that seem to float and shiver. But this solo show, “Fiction of the Fabricated Image,” is on another scale all its own.

Charcoal is an interesting material to use for his works, as on their own, these bits of degraded carbon and ash are grimy and black and not an obvious choice for his airy sculptures. But Seon Ghi Bahk is indeed playing with that process of disintegration and reformation that charcoal represents. These could be trees losing leaves, or buildings imploding. In fact, the imager of this installation is similar to the black-and-white animation of a similar process from New York duo Aziz+Cuchar that showed at the nearby Screening Room during Art Basel and has been showing during Armory Week in New York. They are both complex with feeling too heavy.

Seon Ghi Bahk is a great example of the crop of artists and designers from South Korea who have emerged on the world scene in the last several years, with artistic accents that can have a broadly general Asian aesthetic, but with a distinct voice that sets it apart from the popular products of its neighbors China and Japan.

“Seon Ghi Bahk: Fiction of the Fabricated Image” at the Zadok Gallery, 2534 N. Miami Ave., Wynwood;