Sunstone is a type of mineral which is used to locate the sun in an overcast or snowy sky by holding it up and noting where it emits, reflects or transmits light. The Vikings first used it as an aid for navigation in the open sea and many other sailors after them. The word is an intimate reference to the artist nomadic life but also a strong metaphor to how light affects, and is part of, his subtle and almost invisible sculptures and installations.
Jong Oh's artistic practice is quite particular since he does not use a studio but creates minimal sculptures in situ that respond to a given spatial situation. Responding to the nuanced configuration of each site, the artist constructs spatial structures by suspending and interconnecting a limited selection of materials: rope, chains, fishing wire, perspex, wooden and metal rods and painted threads. The elements of the work seem to float and depending on the spatial relationship of the viewer with it these elements are connected and cross each other or appear as absolutely independent, suggesting additional dimensions to the simple three-dimensional space. Sometimes the threads that suspend these elements are practically invisible and sometimes the artist paints the thread lightly, reinforcing the visual presence of the element. Jong also uses lighting to create his compositions, where real shadows or painted lines by the artist in graphite extend his ethereal structures and favor the effect of optical illusion in a dialogue of lines and planes.
His practice defies the traditionally expected assumption in sculpture of dense masses and heavy objects, acting like simple yet complex drawings that point out the particularities of the space they inhabit.
The exhibition begins with Room Drawing, a site-specific installation that stretches out in the entire space of the entrance of the gallery, responding to its architectural elements. In this sense, the surrounding architecture is the source of inspiration but ends up being also a part of the finished artwork.
In Sunstone, Jong presents a new work from his Wall Drawing series, a series of works that are installed directly to the wall and in which the shadow is an essential part of the work. The protruding lines of metal rods and strings that the artist uses, create shadows which then become the source of inspiration for the next line. The process of the artist while creating these drawings is an echo between materials and their shadows.
The exhibition continues with a new Compo-site work, that combines the idea of composition and the site: crossing the border between sculpture and installation; and with two works from his Cuboid series, where the artist is challenging the boundaries and dealing with restrictions.
The artist presents for the first time in Europe a work from his Parallel Drawing series, and eight watercolors titled Light of Segovia, which were executed during his recent residency at El Núcleo, in Segovia.
To close the exhibition, Jong proposes several Folding Drawing works. These small pieces were conceived after he participated in a book project. Jong considers the book as a moving space, and this gave him the idea to create these works with an added dimension to the drawing, by transforming space and opening dialogues between the angled surfaces and the shadows.
In these paradoxical limits constituted by three-dimensionality and two-dimensionality, consummation and destruction, the spectator's experience becomes a meditation on the whim of human perception. Jong's work is interactive in the sense that the perception and apprehension of each piece by the viewer is achieved only through a deep exploration of it and the negative space resulting from the intervention of the artist.
Jong appeals to the viewer to question their own perception and the way they relate to the space that surrounds them, offering a space for meditation and contemplation before the hustle and bustle of contemporary everyday life: a subtle and refined visual haiku about universality and the sound of space.