Shan Hur has written on his belief that sculpture should ‘communicate with its circumstances’, and this is most fluently presented in Hur’s own work. His sculptural pieces and installations embed themselves into their environments both physically, visually, and conceptually. Often enforcing dilapidation on gallery spaces, Hur removes walls and flooring to place new and unusual objects within the erosion. Crisp vases amid crumbling plaster, or coins in cement, Hur pushes clean and empty galleries and museums into becoming a space for imagination and curiosity. With this, a kind of antithetical confliction is created, where load-bearing pillars seem to surrealistically bend and fold, and basketballs can be found in the foundations of a building, in what might be described as the implication of urban excavation.
To create these works, Hur finds inspiration in the changing and progressing environments of construction sites, and their periods of transformation that when left, still speak in ‘silence and incompleteness’. As an extension of this perspective, Hur’s urban excavations seem to be in a similar state of flux, in the middle of exploration, almost at the moment of discovery. In the same way, his installation of cracked pillars, despite being oversized and monolithic, feel largely tenuous and precarious, suggesting that they may collapse at any moment.
All of these works imply this silent incompleteness, causing the viewer to realign or reevaluate their relationships with modern environments, finding ‘uniqueness buried in everyday life’, and beauty or perfection hidden in disrepair or imperfection.
Hur holds a B.F.A in Sculpture from the Seoul National University, Korea, and an M.F.A from the Slade School of Fine Art. He won the ‘Oriel Davies Open’ in 2012, ‘The Open West’ in Cheltenham in 2011, and was a finalist for ‘Art Catlin’ London in 2011. Hur’s work is held in numerous private collections across the world, and he has been placed in many group exhibitions across the UK in recent years. This list includes appearances at 4482 for three consecutive years, the ‘CUBE Open’ and ‘Present from the Past’ at the Korean Cultural Centre London in 2010, ‘Acquistion’ at the London Art Fair 2011, and ‘Make it. Print it. Pack it. Ship it.’ London and ‘CROSS FIELDS’ at the Korean Cultural Centre in 2009. Hur was also featured at Korean art fair ‘Art Gwangju 2012’, and has created numerous publications, including the ‘Making Surroundings’ series and ‘Intriguing Encounters’ 1 and 2. Hur saw his first solo exhibition in 2011 – ‘Inclined Angles’ at the Hanmi Gallery, and most recently featured in ‘The Tainted’ at the Gazelli Art House earlier this year.