Space of Thought

Figuration of Thought series

Tae Il Kwak

Metaphysics of Geometric Abstraction: As Manifested in Kwak Tae-Il’s Figuration of Thought Series
SUH Young-Hee (Professeur of Hong-Ik University, art critic)
It is a thought-provoking and mind-inspiring experience to figure out what Kwak Tae-Il strives to express through his Figuration of Thought series. His works on display at the International Sculpture Festa consist of basic geometric objects such as spheroids and ellipsoids. We should note that these geometric objects are intended as the vocabulary with which his thoughts are expressed. His figurative works are magnificent – more in the sense of perceptive capacity than of physic size – and full of élan vital, thus dominating the exhibition hall. The stainless steel fragments that form the surface of ellipsoids create the figurative boundary that circumscribes the enigmatic, inscrutable inner space. Kwak compels us to ponder the symbolic connotations of the inner space when he says that his work builds upon an empty inner space which only shows up as a perceptible figure after tangible fragments circumscribe it. In a pursuit to the meaning of the void inner space, he adopts the dualistic frame that contrasts interior with exterior, visible with invisible, and space with mass. His intention does not lie in the illustration of geometric objects in their abstract reduction but the manifestation of his thought process.

The most meaningful part of Kwak Tae-il’s works is not the palpable external surface but the enigmatic inner space. It is the inner space that makes the viewers feel and experience archetypal spirit, primordial energy, or chora. As the source of such ineffable force, the inner space is not a static closed space. Through the construct of surface fragments, the viewers can envisage that mysterious primordial forces in their potential state are reified into palpable objects in the state of “presence.” Once the viewers experience and recognize such dynamic forces of the inner space, they will understand that Kwak’s works do not belong to the realm of static, formal sculpture, but to the domain of dynamic, space-warping – almost in the Baroque style – architecture. His works bring forth the interactions with the viewers along the flow of time and reveal the true nature of space. The dynamic force originates from the inner space, expands to the surface, and then explodes through the figurative boundary, thereby setting off the interactions with the viewers. Whereas the ensuing interactions are dynamic and diverse, they are undertaken in a harmoniously structured manner.

1997 Graduated from Hong-ik University, Seoul, Korea
1999 M.A. Hong-ik University, Seoul, Korea

2015 The 1st Solo Exhibitions(Hangaram Art museum in Seoul Art center, Seoul

2013 Exhibition by Goyang Sculptors Association
2011 Exhibition by Goyang Sculptors Association
2010 Exhibition “Faculty show”(Topohaus Gallery)
2010 The 26th Korean Sculptors Association Exhibition(Gongpeong Art Gallery)
2009 Exhibition by Goyang Sculptors Association
2009 The 25th Korean Sculptors Association Exhibition(Gongpeong Art Gallery)
2009 Exhibition “Wind of Spring”(Dongducheon City Hall)
2009 The 40th Exhibition of Hong ik Sculpture Association(Seoul Museum of Art)
2008 Exhibition “Think Box”(Dongducheon Civic Center)
2008 Seoul Art Gallery(Jamsil Lotte Hotel B1)
2007 The 17th Goyang Branch of Korean Fine Arts Association (Goyang world flower trade fair)
2007 Exhibition by Goyang Sculptors Association
2007 The 38th Exhibition of Hong ik Sculpture Association(Hongik University)
2007 Ellen Kim Murphh gallery (Yangpyoung))
2006 Exhibition of A New Asian Jump(Silk Gallery)
“21st Centry Conceptual Visions” Elga Wimmer PCC, New York City, NY, 2011
MFA Computer Art “Thesis Exhibition” Visual Art Gallery, New York, NY 2006
Graphic Design Exhibition “Exposed” Rotunda and South Gallery, Kalamazoo, MI, 2002

1998 The 9th Misulsege Contest First Prize
1998 The 2nd Outdoor Sculpture Contest Special Award
2004 The 1st Swarovski Contest Bronze Award