The works of Gwon Osang illuminate a wide interpretive context and direct us to ruminate on the notion of aesthetics afresh. His "Deodorant Type", a series of photographic sculptures, stirred up critics almost immediately after their debut in the artist's 1998 solo exhibition. Our day sale this season features two works in the same stylistic paradigm - Error (Lot 1480) and Kneel Slider (Lot 1479) -shown in the Gwon's solo exhibitions in South Korea and Beijing respectively. The prototypical practice of the artist has been to look for quotidian corporal images, photograph hundreds of them, and bond them into three-dimensional sculptures. Within such creative process the works are thrice transformed in their dimensions: from the sculptural to the planar, and from the planar to the sculptural. The juxtaposing concepts embedded in the flat sheets of photograph and the three-dimensional bodies of sculpture are integrated in such a way that their subtle connection becomes pronounced to any contemplator of the works. This is just what the artist stressed: "In sculpture, we sculpt an object and cast it into plaster which is no different from the process of developing negatives in film. Also, the process of re-making the original object from the plaster cast is parallel to the printing process in photography."
Some critics take him as a fine art photographer for his manipulation of photography and the filmic concept. To this Gwon Osang relentlessly object; his creations belong to the art of sculpture, Gwon declares, and what he does is to search for new materials alongside the traditional medium of modeling like wood, copper, steel and plaster. Photograph as a medium of sculpturing brings lightness and agility to the work, shattering the preconceived weighty impression that traditional sculptures are doomed to give. A mirror example would be Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog, which is tremendously heavy though seemingly light. Both of their works mean to create a startling sensual experience. Roaming over visual impression, aesthetic perception and actual tactility, the works of Gwon represent a variance between all these notions that call to mind a controversial issue central to the study of aesthetic: how the visual and tactile senses construct the cognition of objective articles in the audience's mind. His technique in assembling photographs, too, resonates Dadaism and Found Art; and when we draw from the history of art to inquire into the way Walter Benjamin and Pop artists explored the relationship between traditional art and the industrial practice of copying, we will notice that the works of Gwon Osang are, indeed, a contemplation of the essence of art by means of creative endeavors. Thus forms the philosophy of the artist: "What is that major thesis in my work of art? In the end I came to the conclusion that I seek to make art about art." This idea is thoroughly examined in Error, where a worldly man carries loads of branded shopping bags - only to be found that they fall apart at his back, leaving on the ground books of art titled Andy Warhol, Rodin's Sculptures and Art Now. While the general motif of this work corresponds to the contemporary chic culture, it symbolizes the coalescence between commercialism and art. The artist seems to be recounting his own history: a man standing amid the grid of orthodox sculptural art, seeking to converse with the tradition while drawing a bead on a remarkable breakthrough. Kneel Slider features another reflection. The assemblage of those photographic images that make up human flesh, outfit and gesture points in every way to individual existence in the society, suggesting that the image of a person, together with his essence of existence, is the product of an assortment of external factors.