Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is currently hosting The Luminous Poem, a new body of work by Korean artist Airan Kang. If you’ve seen Kang’s work before (she’s previously shown at the Wolkowitz Gallery), then you know that she makes these fantastic illuminated sculptures of books.
This show has lots of her illuminated books (and it seems also what look like VHS Cassette Boxes – nostalgia!), but it also explores other printed mediums, such as scrolls and room-sized projections. My favorite part of the exhibit was a small room where shelves of softly glowing books lined the walls.
It’s great fun to browse the shelves and spot your favorites, now transformed into objects of light and enhanced wonder.
There are Art Books and books that have been made into Movies and books about Pop Stars and Pop Culture Icons. All very fun!
This one hangs on the wall, and changes color.
As you can see, the book – its boundless possibilities and its cultural significance – is central to Airan Kang’s work. In The Luminous Poem, she opens up the idea of the book from a concrete, self-contained object into a virtual space for the imagination.
In the galleries’ rear space, The Luminous Poem, the central interactive installation, features texts from classical poetry that project across the surface of a massive mirrored book that the viewer can enter. The texts are poems from the Romantic canon of Western literature. Kang’s immersive installation situates book and text as an interactive experience, an unfinished work entered into and transformed by the reader or viewer’s imagination or memory.
Kang has also created a new iteration of her Digital Lighting Book series in the form of Asian scrolls. The pages of the transparent cast-resin books have been replaced with light, that multivalent symbol of wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment. By upending the idea of the book as a familiar object, she encourages more free-floating associations with the book and its subject matter.
Make sure to see this exhibit before it closes!
The Luminous Poem by Airan Kang will be on Exhibit Through June 13, 2015 at Bryce Wolkowitz, Located at 505 W 24th St, in the Chelsea Gallery District.