March 10, 2010

오이량 (Oh Yi-Ryang)

In 2009 I visited a native friend of mine in Gwangju and commented on a piece of artwork in his office. He informed me that the artist was his friend and we promptly walked the great distance of two blocks to 오이량 's studio. My fortune continued as the man himself was present and took time to talk with us. The third floor studio was quaint and open. Boxes upon boxes of what appeared to be caulk were scattered about the room. Yi-Rang had been experimenting with silicone for some time. Many etchings of simple white caulk were there for me to sample. He encouraged me to touch them as he believed the tactile enhanced the experience of the viewer. I also learned that he was currently interested in waves. His current exhibition was all about Existence and Waves. Many of the works you see on this page are entitled Existence Point, Existence Wave, or Existence Flower. As we left he handed me a booklet for his exhibition and I left the studio rather dazed.

A few weeks later I asked my friend if I could speak with Yi-Rang about purchasing a piece of artwork for my cousin's upcoming wedding. The artist agreed to sell me one at a much below market cost. I did not choose the work. He simply framed it in plexi-glass, covered it with bubble wrap, and seemed terrified that the piece would have to survive shipment to America. The work hangs in my Father's home now as I was too selfish to give it to my cousin (sorry Roxi). Later that night he insisted on taking us to dinner (at which point I consumed my first caterpillar). That night after much eating and drinking he asked a waitress for a sharpie and in ten minutes did the sketch of me you see at the bottom of this page.

오이량 studied in Korea and Japan. His works are displayed in museums around the world such as the National Museum of Spain. I feel privileged and honored to have met such a good soul. He is a very kind, thoughtful, and extremely intelligent man. Serendipity is a good friend.


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