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Two new exhibitions at The Physics Room

25 Jan 2011

This content is tagged as Visual arts .


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André Hemer
26 January–27 February 2011

Opening preview: Tuesday 25 January 2011, 5.30pm

Underlying my practice is an investigation of how the conventions of painting might be interwoven with contemporary technologies, materials and aesthetics.
- André Hemer

New Zealand-based artist André Hemer is known for his visually jarring hard-edged paintings that blend digital and analogue technologies.

Hemer’s solo exhibition hyper/links introduces a new series of large-scale wall paintings based on barcodes. These gridded artworks have the potential to be read by smart phones, such as the iPhone, which are enabled with freely downloadable software. Once a barcode reader is loaded onto a phone and the artworks are scanned by the phone’s inbuilt camera, the software immediately redirects the user to web addresses embedded in the barcodes. In this way the paintings literally function like hyperlinks as they transport viewers to interrelated web pages with a single scan.

The links often reveal a degree of humour in the work. One large black and white wall painting, for instance, links to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s online collection and displays an artwork by the celebrated American minimalist artist Sol Le Witt, which Hemer’s giant barcode closely resembles. The invite for the exhibition likewise features a similar barcode motif which when scanned by a smart phone translates as the title of the exhibition hyper/links.

Hemer’s expansive project fully utilises The Physics Room’s largest gallery—from floor to walls to ceiling. While his wall scaled paintings involve the entire body in the experience of the work, other smaller artworks are cheekily inserted into areas of the room rarely noticed by viewers. These smaller pieces activate latent areas of the gallery, creating a dialogue between the exhibition site and the predetermined grid logic of Hemer’s paintings. Just as Hemer’s artworks can be scanned by gallery visitors, the barcodes scan the room itself, highlighting details such as power outlets as well as the hooks and marks which bare traces of past exhibitions.

André Hemer has exhibited throughout New Zealand and internationally. Recent projects include This time it’s official, this time it’s serious, this time it’s personal, this time it’s different, Peloton Gallery (P25), Sydney (2010); Things to do with paint that won’t dry, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch (2010); Plan B, Project B, Seoul Artspace Geumcheon, Seoul (2009); Less was More, Plus Gallery, Nagoya (2009) and Project Standing by 000, curated by Alternative Loop Space, Xii Gallery, Seoul (2008). He is represented by Antoinette Godkin Gallery, Auckland and Bartley and Company, Wellington.

For further information on this exhibition please contact The Physics Room on +64 3 379 5583 or email physicsroom@physicsroom.org.nz


Seung Yul Oh
26 January–27 February 2011

Opening preview: Tuesday 25 January 2011, 5.30pm

Seung Yul Oh’s Bok is a gallery-based version of his recent Rain project, an online artwork realised in collaboration with Auckland interactive designer Jeff Nusz. On entering the gallery visitors are met with a video projection screening an empty grey field and an accompanying keyboard. Once the keystrokes are entered, Oh’s field becomes an absorbing game-like world where 3D shapes, animals, plants and other items randomly enter and move across the screen. Each of these actions is accompanied by absorbing game-like sounds and music composed by Berlin-based musician Luke Munn and Auckland musician Mike Newport.

The title Bok is a Korean word that translates as luck or good energy. It stresses the highly visceral and kinaesthetic experience of liberally gliding hands over the keys which can be likened to our earliest simple interactions with childhood toys. Bok also has an onomatopoeic quality which recalls a child’s first attempt at speaking: “Bok!”.

This is Oh’s first foray into working digitally and his recent sculptures have also explored the potential of direct interaction. His suite of sculptures entitled Oddooki, for instance, invited the audience to push and wobble large egg forms which through their cartoon-like appearance recall East Asian pop culture references which have greatly influenced Oh’s work to date.

Seung Yul Oh was born in 1981 in Seoul, Korea and is currently based in Auckland. He holds a Master of Fine Arts (2005) from Elam School of Fine Arts at The University of Auckland. Oh was the 2010 recipient of the Harriet Friedlander Residency and won the Waikato National Art Award in 2004. His solo exhibitions include Bogle Bogle, The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington (2009) and Oddooki, Te Papa, Wellington (2008–09). Oh is currently undertaking a residency in Seoul where he will be producing a solo exhibition at ggooll, an artist run project space founded and managed by the influential Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa. He is represented by Starkwhite, Auckland.

For further information on this exhibition please contact The Physics Room on +64 3 379 5583 or email physicsroom@physicsroom.org.nz