Scope New York

  • Artists: Sankeum Koh, Ziwon Wang
  • 320 West Street | New York, New York
  • 2 – 6 March 2011

Dedicated to promoting the finest of modern and contemporary art from Korea and the Far East- Hanmi Gallery presents works by the Korean contemporary artists Sankeum KOH and Ziwon WANG at SCOPE NY Art Show, established for its unique tradition of solo and thematic group shows. Korean modern art has a long history which is vibrant, innovative and unique. Hanmi Gallery’s vision is to further raise the presence, understanding and appreciation of Korean art to the West. The two artist’s works complement each other in their minimalistic aesthetics and in their humanistic concepts.


Sankeum KOH meticulously assembles pearl beads or steels balls to create an illusion of blurred texts, sourcing from newspaper columns, books, and poetry, Koh transforms the literary words into fragmented visions. Koh draws upon the viewer’s frustration of not being able to read the cryptic codes leaving the viewer to question what it is they are actually ‘reading’. Koh’s works are challenging the validity of such texts in newspapers and questioning the dogmatic approach of its readers.


Koh eliminates the information that is obtained from text- only leaving the visual configuration of the written words. Thus the written article transcends into a purely visual form that is independent to the arbitrary content of the original text. Once the visual process of ‘reading’ has begun the reader has no choice in receiving the intent information by the author, however in Koh’s works the viewers are left with a choice. They can choose to know that the formation of pearls is an article written in memory of Nam June Paik or undergo an experience similar in recalling something that has been forgotten or strangely familiar.


Sankeum Koh holds MFA in Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute, New York and MFA in Painting from Ewha Womans University, Seoul. She was awarded 12 x 12 x(12) from Islip Art Museum, New York and the Dong-A Award from the Modern Art Museum of Korea, Seoul. Koh’s works are present in Kyeounggido Museum of Art and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea.

Ziwon WANG’s cybernetic sculptures poignantly address the ever increasing relationship between man and technology. The natural human features of Wang’s ‘post-human’ or ‘post-person’ sculptures with its serene and meditative expression are juxtaposed against the disjointed mechanical components, creating a jarring spectacle to the viewer. At the core of WANG’s works is the issue of decision making- the emotive human decisions against the coded and system judgments made by machines. Wang is concerned with the status of human thought and how it will transgress to the future. Wang’s interest in the manifestation and translation of the human decision making process in works of art through the passage of time can be found in the Buddha like poses which questions whether advancement of machinery and technology has, if any, changed the fundamental elements of human life.


The characteristic faces that are repeatedly found are in fact a self portrait of Wang himself. Wang’s combining of human features with the artificiality of the machinery are derived from the three stages of cybernetics. Wang is particularly interested in the stage of cyborg, of robots being able to take on roles of the human body such as artificial arms and legs to aid humans. Thus Wang is challenging of the often thought perception that the moral nature of human being are lost with the advancement of artificial intelligence.


Ziwon Wang graduated from Chungan University in Seoul, Korea with BA and MA in Sculpture in 2007. He was awarded the Song Eun Award in 2010 and selected for The National Art Studio residency programme 2011 in Korea. Wang’s works have been collected in many public collections such as the Seoul City Museum of Art and Incheon City’s Department of Finance, as well as co-operate instiutions as Art Bank Korea and Kolon Tower. Wang has exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Mumbai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Amsterdam.