“Diffusion / Cohesion” Exhibition

The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Gallery

poster for “Diffusion / Cohesion” Exhibition

This event has ended.

SWPK presents the group show Diffusion/Cohesion, featuring works in traditional and new media by artists Gil Bruvel, Eunsuh Choi, James Cullinane, Rodney Dickson, Kyung-Ae Hur, Yong R. Kwon, Taezoo Park and Raphaele Shirley.

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the behaviors of society. As people struggle to maintain a semblance of normalcy, the dichotomy of physical remoteness and virtual proximity has been intensified in a globally interconnected world. Despite the distance between us, communities have strived to create and adapt to novel forms of unity and cohesion, ushering in an era where we must re-evaluate the perceptions of our new reality.

Diffusion/Cohesion seeks to examine the two interdependent, opposing forces of diffusion and cohesion, and the role they play in our human experience. Since the onset of the pandemic, both dynamics have had a profound impact on our individual and group experiences. Society has undergone a historically unprecedented degree of physical separation and isolation—diffusion—in order to slow the spread of the pandemic. At the same time, modern advances in digital technology have allowed us to sustainably function as socially-distant communities by enabling remote connection and collaboration—cohesion—with one another through the use of social media, online collaboration tools and video platforms. Yet, despite their virtues, these platforms provide virtual experiences that are by definition simulated.

The psycho-social impacts of the diffusion and cohesion caused by the pandemic are well documented: heightened feelings of detachment, isolation and impotence counterbalanced by a yearning for companionship, unity and agency in a world beyond our individual control. As the constant dynamic equalization of these two dichotomies accelerates within the current sociopolitical context, we see the increasing effects of ricochet societal polarization and the weaponization of identity politics. At the same time, the deconstruction of the pre-existing order has also revealed deeply-rooted social injustices in our system and engendered a widespread unified effort towards a radical restructuring of society that can lead to greater cohesion and human flourishing.

The artists presented in this exhibition explore the dichotomies of cohesion and diffusion through video and digital installations, analog and NFT technology, glass sculpture, paintings and three-dimensional wall pieces, reflecting the collapse and unity we experienced, and continue to experience, as a society and reveal the potential for ensuing cultural renewal and regeneration.

Diffusion/Cohesion has been curated and produced in collaboration with the Donghwa Cultural Foundation.

Gil Bruvel’s relief compositions reveal the dualities of diffusion and cohesion in the experience of perception. His Bending the Lines wall pieces composed of hundreds of individual wooden blocks fused together to create dynamic, unified surfaces, offer unique perceptions of each work from different viewing perspectives.

Eunsuh Choi’s delicate glass sculptures composed of intricate organic forms issuing from within geometric structures recall the restrictions of isolation and the aspiration to connect with a world beyond our physically-distant confines.

James Cullinane goes beyond the two-dimensional picture plane, incorporating his works on panel with traditional and nontraditional materials, such as clusters of map pins that slowly separate and scatter throughout the surface, to visually recontextualize pre-existing conceptions of various images.

Rodney Dickson’s heavily loaded paintings render a visceral expression of the psychological weight of conflict through the overwhelming physicality of thick masses of vibrant impasto juxtaposed with interspersed patches of thinly applied paint.

Kyung-Ae Hur’s paintings, created through a constructive-destructive process of carving through layers of paint and reattaching the pigment fragments to the canvas, highlight the polarity of chaos and order while suggesting the potential for a regenerated post-diffusion landscape.

In Ultramarine-Light, Yong R. Kwon engages with light not as a medium, but considers it to be the essence and expression of the work itself, which captures rays of light in hundreds of steel discs that distribute infinite luminous reflections across the canvas and beyond.

Taezoo Park, DIGITAL BEING: “Hello NFT World!”, 2021, 15 four-inch LCD screens on stands, micro SD card, raspberry pi computer, USB power adapter, NFT art from the internet, 5 HD video projectors, dimensions variable.

In a fusion of the “existent character” of older, analog technology together with modern digital media, Taezoo Park’s installation DIGITAL BEING: “Hello NFT World!” combines glitching flag images and NFT blockchain technology to investigate the revitalization of former systems in a world of increasing digital domination.

Raphaele Shirley’s video and sound installation Sky (obscured and revealed) showcases her ephemeral installation realized in 2019 in Talliin, Estonia, in which 200 simultaneously-ignited flares create a dense plume of pink smoke that diffuses into a nebulous colour mass temporarily masking the landscape in which it unfolds. Shirley takes the work further in this site specific video installation created for Diffusion/Cohesion, transporting the transient outdoor experience into an immersive environment intonating suspense and mystery, rhythm and euphoria.



from September 22, 2021 to November 10, 2021

Opening Reception on 2021-09-22 from 18:00 to 20:00

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