This is the first major UK exhibition for Korean contemporary artist, Gwon Osang. Deodorant Type features 14 sculptures by the artist including a number of new works commissioned by Manchester Art Gallery for the show.
Gwon Osang makes extraordinary life-size sculptures of people. He uses hundreds of photographic images to build up the surface appearance of his models, including the face, their hair and their clothes. Gwon’s skills as sculptor and photographer combine to make beautifully crafted figures with both photo-realist and surreal qualities.
As a starting point for the exhibition, Manchester Art Gallery invited Gwon to the city for a month-long residency in 2007. He spent his time in Manchester researching people and places that would act as inspiration for future works.
Gwon’s first new work resulting from this residency is a sculpture of the musician Graham Massey - best known as a member of Manchester’s electronic pioneers 808 State. This work is being exhibited in the entrance hall of the gallery together with an existing work Control. These works were commissioned for Asia Triennial Manchester 08 and remain on display until 21 September.
A further five new works by Gwon are being displayed in this exhibition, including a life-size sculpture of a Greater Manchester Mounted Police Officer complete with working horse measuring 17 hands.
Speaking about this new work, Gwon commented:
“ During my stay in Manchester, it was interesting to watch the mounted police officer on patrol every morning. I felt a sense of closeness because it was an animal, but also, its large figure made me feel somewhat intimidated. In many cases I am influenced by ancient arts, and I think this particular interest was partly due to my association with the horsemen of monumental sculptures. So I invited the mounted police officer to be a model for my solo exhibition, and as I expected, he gladly agreed.”
Other works appearing in the exhibition include sculptures of Manchester artists, musicians and a number of Korean works created between 2006 and 2008.
Gwon’s models are often depicted in unusual poses. He is interested in exploring how the human figure can express different meanings in different contexts, through their gestures and expressions. His work is also heavily influenced by contemporary advertisements, and a fascination with the way they reflect modern-day life.
Gwon Osang is based in Korea and represented by Arario Gallery, Korea. He has previously exhibited work in China, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan and The Netherlands. Deodorant Type: Sculptures by Gwon Osang is his first major UK exhibition. This exhibition will also be accompanied by a new publication.