• Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sa auction at Christies

    Sale 2726

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    30 November 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1631

    SON JUNG HEE

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    SON JUNG HEE
    (b. 1974)
    Pet
    a set of five ceramic and mixed media sculptures
    67 x 40 x 44 cm. (26 3/8 x 15 3/4 x 17 3/8 in.); 81 x 78 x 34 cm. (31 7/8 x 30 3/4 x 13 3/8 in.); 51 x 29 x 35.5 cm. (20 x 11 3/8 x 14 in.); 101 x 42 x 49 cm. (39 3/4 x 16 1/2 x 19 1/4 in.); 92 x 49 x 55 cm. (36 1/4 x 19 1/4 x 21 5/8 in.)
    Executed in 2009 (5)


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    Tackling prohibited subjects in the form of a charming fairy tale featuring a female queen and her four male angels, Son Jung Hee playfully fabricates her inner dream, far from either voyeurism or feminism but modestly for the fun, utopian purposes as a moment of escape from her daily duty as a woman, mother and wife. As she elevates the sensuality of her daydream in utilizing the soft, smooth malleable qualities of clay, tacitly molding her fascination into its three-dimensional realization, the lurid visual recitation is her confrontation towards the aesthetics walls of her conservative, Confucius-rooted Korean culture, willfully and ruthlessly exploiting every personal connection of her visualization into blunt reality. Immensely humorous and flirtatious, her works are also powerfully positioned in exhibiting her meticulous technical skills and understanding of the human anatomy.

    The four figures appear ambiguous in gender but the anatomical form flexed in response to their crouched, subtly hidden position pronounces the masculinity of these four angels with body curvature illuminated by the smooth glaze, under playful dominance of the fire-red haired female protagonist nonchalantly lying down. Her sexual consumption over the four angels is in witty innuendo as she delicately toys with power by merely using a flimsy, golden string, discretely but knowingly binding them at their most fragile body parts, moreover a symbolic authority on what classifies as their manhood. Such humorous censorship on sex and art in Pet (Lot 1631) is tastefully constructed by balancing the formal, aesthetic execution with Song's psychological satire as she narrates a forbidden subject of sex with benign familiarity of fairy tales and legends to express her deeply embedded, frivolous fantasies to not alarm the viewer but to provide an opportunity for the viewer to laugh liberally within the taboo-free realm of her utopian world.

    Literature

    Gallery Sejul, Funny Sculpture! Funny Painting!, exh. cat., Seoul, Korea, 2009 (illustrated, p. 7).


    Exhibited

    Seoul, Korea, Gallery Sejul, 8th Funny Funny, 17 July-14 August, 2009