Elemental forces are channeled into the sculpture of Shim Moon-seup.
Water, rocks and wood interact with light in a garden of energy. Two exhibitions
concurrently feature the art of Shim, a noted Korean sculptor who has
exhibited often Japan over the past three decades.
At the INAX Gallery is a sculptural installation. A stroll away through
the fashionable Ginza, is an exhibition of his drawings at the Muramatsu
Understanding Shim moon-seup's sculpture is enhanced greatly by seeing
his drawings. These are brush and ink sketches for a selection of his
installations. The drawings articulate the 'circulatory' nature of his
Shim's sculpture has an air of simplicity. Yet, like the line of the optic
cables wrapping around the rocks it is often a more complicate tangle
of ideas. The installation at the INAX Gallery flows across the floor.
At one end a number of drinking glasses are stacked on a shelf attatched
to the wall. At the other end of the gallery, a large log of wood is hollowed
out to form a basin into which water is bubbling. Between these two ends
of wood and glass, about twenty or so rocks are arranged about the floor
in a circle.
Emanating from a ball of cables in the glasses and then cascading in tangles
across the floor, tied in various knots, wrapped around rocks and then
dipping into the water, is a trail of fiber optic. Many of the ends of
these cables glow bright white. As a result of the pumps and light transformers
the installation hums with electricity.
The arrangement and the nature of the materials suggest a circulatory
system. As in a Zen garden, there is a dynamic flow between the elements.
Similarly, energy is captured in the quick and practiced brush-strokes
of Shim's large drawings. Using soft, hand-made papers, black ink and
a calligraphic style the paintings of sculptural installations have an
air of more traditional Korean and Japanese art.
The best of the drawings evoke a clamness of a temple garden. A few sparse
elements connected by a tension derived from their size and shape and
The two exhibitions build upon each other. The drawings and sculptural
installation go together to strengthen our appreciation of the whole.
However, maintaining that Zen moment as you walk the Ginza between them,
may test your aesthetic strength.