• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2707

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1029

    NOH SANG KYOON

    Price Realised  

    NOH SANG KYOON
    (b. 1958)
    For the Worshippers - Bodhisattva
    signed, dated and titled 'Sang-Kyoon Noh; 2002; For the Worshippers #94-6' in Korean & English (on the base)
    sequins sculpture
    90 x 66 x 48 cm. (35 3/8 x 26 x 18 7/8 in.)
    Executed in 2002


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    Inspiration from fish and his childhood experiences with them led Noh to employ sequins as his main artistic medium in exploring the spiritual dimension. The luster of the fishes' scales as it moves through the water suggests the spiritual light of heaven. Noh projects his feeling for fish into his works through the luster of sequins, the shimmering tones of light, color and depth pulling viewers in and out different visual experiences and recreating a moment of transcendence. The black tight enveloping of ready made object of a plastic Buddha may bestow a weighty outlook to For the Worshippers-Bodhisattva (Lot 1029), intensifying its statuesque, however with the light that polish over its textured surface, bring a shade of nimble buoyancy to it. Committing to Duchamp's aesthetic theory of ready-mades, 'You must approach a thing with indifference, as if you have no esthetic emotion. The choice of ready-mades is always based on visual indifference and, at the same time, on the complete absence of good or bad taste', Noh too distanced himself from aesthetic appeal and conventional modes of paintings to stress the conceptual significance of his sculptures by selecting mundane iconic silhouettes with kitsch like glitzy medium. These strings of minute circles flatter Noh's concept, fortifying its visual power through meditative repetitiveness, thus, imposing the Buddhist enlightenment on the trivial existence of a tiny stone that strengthens to make numerous waves on the water; like the tiny stone, these microscopic shapes recur in streams of glistening painterly lines, creating shifting waves of illumination and color. As his work documents the viewers' movements and expressions, their shadows and reflections play across the inlay of sequins on its surface, gleaming Buddha's wisdom 'Look within, thou art Buddha'. Comforted by his sacred presence, where we can self reflect on Buddha's skin, we are aspiring to reach a state of nirvana, attaining enlightenment, realizing the limitation of selfhood and becoming one with Buddha.

    A significant point in Noh's artistic development, the advent of exploring not only the dimensionality of religion, but also the modern day issues of consumption and pop culture and how it distorts the sanctity and significance of religion is adeptly patterned in monotone shimmer through vulgar and cheap, modern and decorative quality of sequins. While lessening the distance between viewer and this traditional religious icon, he also challenges our understanding towards what constitutes the sacred and the profane.

    Provenance

    Christie's Hong Kong, 28 May, 2006 Lot 416
    Acquired from the above by the present owner