Kiwon Park’s (Cheong-ju, North Korea, 1964) work is intrinsically related to a concept of space naturally rooted in Eastern thought. His great interest is in empty space, defined by the floor, ceiling, walls and light. A space that he uses as sculptural material and which he intends to make more alive and emphasise. In his work he transforms existing spaces into new illusory and abstract spaces, modifying formal elements, such as the texture, surface, colour and sense of volume. His installations become sculptures in themselves.
Kiwon Park becomes known on the international scene when he joins the group of artists selected to participate in the Korean Pavilion at the last Venice Biennale, where the new attitudes and methods of Korean artists were presented, in tune with the great changes there have been in the Korean society. A generation that marked differences with its predecessor as they are characterised by a greater diversity of languages and their connections with global artistic practice.
The artist uses as a basis a mental experience of space that, once defined, he expresses in drawings, sculptures and installations. In The Light Weight, the title of the installation with which Kiwon exhibits for the first time in Spain, he has worked with a yellowish gelatinous fat, smooth and transparent, applied with great "healing” care, with which he manages to keep the presence of walls very alive. The ground is covered with inflatable pads, giving the spectator a sense of lightness, pleasant and fluffy. Kiwon conceives the totality of the work as a union between space, artistic intervention and the presence of the spectator, the true protagonist of the installation.
The idea of this specific project for the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía occurred when he saw workers repairing the walls when he first visited the exhibition room. He compared the work to a doctor healing, returning the sick person to their original state. He was seduced by the idea of working in such an old building, and was impressed by the thickness of its walls; he felt the weight, the bulk of the space and, in contrast, thought of lightness. It was a contrast that he had already guessed before entering, sensing the strength of the Sabatini Building next to the lightness and transparency of the elevators on its facade.
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