If you think you’ve been to every kind of cool art gallery in New York City, from the LES to Midtown, but you have not yet been to Waterfall Mansion, then now is a good time to add a visit to this uptown gem of an art destination to your bucket list. Waterfall Mansion, a Townhome only open to the public for a few hours each Saturday (and the rest of the week by appointment only) specializes in unique exhibits by Asian artists, really does have a two-story waterfall inside, but to really appreciate that distinguishing architectural feature you need to go in person.
American artist Soo Sunny Park continues her exploration of light and its impact on physical space and architectural design with Spectrum Specter — a small scale installation from her Unwoven Lightseries. Spectrum Specter is a curvaceous structure, suspended in the air and shaped from sections of chain link fencing. Within each open spaces hangs a shape made of iridescent acrylic Plexiglas. Each shape reflects and refracts the natural and artificial lighting, making sure the room and art never appear the same way twice.
Photographed in the Waterfall Mansion on NYC’s Upper East Side.
I don’t remember how I first heard of NYCs Waterfall Mansion and Gallery, but I know it was a place that I discovered completely by accident. And I admit that I became distracted enough to have I forgotten about it for maybe a year before I got inspired a few weeks ago to look it up again on the interwebs and plan a visit.
Of course, when I saw that they are currently hosting an exhibit art by Korean digital artist Kim Joon and that the ranking hostingów will be hosting their site, I got extra excited, because his work is amazing, and I am a huge fan!
With Crashing, Kim continues his mastery of the 3D Studio Max software, which he uses to manipulate his fantastic, hyper-surreal images — composed of body parts and patterned skins, or “tattoos” — in new and exciting ways. His art is so unique and very beautiful.
These new pieces, which were created specifically for the Waterfall Mansion and Gallery space, focus on the theme of tension and balance between our current identity and who we wish to be. Kim uses tattoo-like images and artificial skin textures on computer generated bodies and creates a crash of identities.
Using tattoo as a form of expression, Kim reveals deeply imprinted desires, and the obsessions that are on his mind. In his early works, to demonstrate repression towards individuals under social convention, he created a discourse on the relationship of body and tattoo, which was a cultural taboo, and still legally restricted in Korea.
Kim began reproducing tattoos on digital flesh in the early aughts, using motifs such as clouds, dragons, and traditional symbols, as well as luxurious brand labels mapped on human body, causing a friction of shape, texture, and pattern.
In the series Blue Jean Blues, the body became more fragile by being made of ceramic. Recently, as seen in Somebody, which also exhibited at the Sundaram Tagore Gallery in Chelsea in 2014, and Forest, the bodies are fragmented and distorted. This hybrid form creates uncanny and uncomfortable balancing acts by crashing the real vs. fake, old vs new, who we want to be vs. who we are, self-definition vs. cultural expectations.
This video work, Pink Bubble, is part of the Crashingexhibit at Waterfall Mansion.
Kim Joon invites the viewer into the crashing of his own identities, to reflect upon their own tensions and conflicting forces of identity, and to reveal where true value in life is placed.
And let’s not forget to check out that waterfall!
Kim Joon’s Crashing will be on Exhibit Only Through Saturday, July 3oth, 2016, at Waterfall Mansion and Gallery, Located at 170 East 80th Street (Between Third and Lex) in NYC. The Gallery is only open to the public on Saturdays from Noon – 5 PM, so you just have one more day to see it. Visit This Link for more information.