The Intermediates
2015-

Straw Sculptures


The Intermediate – Bristly Raggedy Nosy
2016

Artificial straw, cotton twine, steel stand, powder coating, artificial fruits, tassels, 3 colors bands, Korean bridal crowns, casters
176 x 117 x 113 cm

Courtesy of kurimanzutto, Mexico City

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Sea Urchin Dragon Dance
2016

Artificial straw, plastic twine, stainless steel stand, powder coating, artificial plants, casters
145x 125 x 120 cm

Courtesy of Greene Naftali, New York

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Ikebana Dragon Ball
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, artificial plants, gourd, Neoseols, casters
156 x 125 x 127 cm

Courtesy of Kukje Gallery, Seoul

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Windy Uninhabited Island
2016

Artificial straw, stainless steel frame, powder coating, turbine vent
120 x 86 x 53 cm

Courtesy of Kukje Gallery, Seoul

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Tilted Bushy Lumpy Bumpy
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters
203 x 120 x 120 cm

Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Narrating Solid Cloud II
2016

Artificial straw, stainless steel frame, powder coating, plastic twine, Indian bells, miniature motorcycles, diorama figures, passive components, dried plants
70 x 80 x 24 cm

Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Narrating Solid Cloud I
2016

Artificial straw, stainless steel stand, powder coating, plastic twine, artificial plants, artificial driftwood, passive components, diorama figures, casters
46 x 110 x 88 cm

Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Running Squeezed Two-tone Fan Dance
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, plastic twine, Korean traditional hairpins, casters
150 x 105 x 85 cm

Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Tilted Bushy-head Junior
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters
173 x 76 x 76 cm

Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Uninhibited Island in New Year Saekdong
2016

Artificial straw, steel frame, powder coating, Saekdong fabric, diorama figures, passive components
103 x 83 x 40 cm

Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Running Dragon King of the Sea
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, plastic twine, casters
155 x 120 x120 cm

Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Long Neck Woman Upside Down
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, plastic fans, rattles, artificial plants, Saekdong fabric, Indian bells, casters
182 x 123 x 110 cm

Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Narrating Sea Squirt Alienage
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, diorama figures, tassels, artificial plants, passive components, casters
195 x 90 x 80 cm

Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Ikebana Alienage
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, artificial plants, artificial vegetables, artificial stones, casters
90 x 135 x 90 cm

Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Uninhabited Island in Fiction II
2016

Artificial straw, steel frame, powder coating, artificial plants, artificial vegetables
125 x 105 x 48 cm

Courtesy of Kukje Gallery, Seoul

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Uninhabited Island in Fiction I
2016

Artificial straw, steel frame, powder coating, artificial plants
170 x 97 x 45 cm

Private collection, Taipei, Taiwan

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Rolling Bushy Nosy
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, artificial plants, artificial vegetables, casters
184 x 105 x 123 cm

Courtesy of kurimanzutto, Mexico City

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Harvest Spell
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, plastic twine, artificial plants, Indian bells
193 x 115 x 115 cm

Stiftung für die Hamburger Kunstsammlungen

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Hairy All Over
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters
169 x 115 x 115 cm

Stiftung für die Hamburger Kunstsammlungen

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Fan Dance around a Pagoda
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, plastic twine, artificial plants
162 x 117 x 117 cm

Stiftung für die Hamburger Kunstsammlungen

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Pungmul Ball
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, plastic twine, artificial plants, cord, feathers, metal bells
125 x 125 x 128 cm

Stiftung für die Hamburger Kunstsammlungen

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Inceptive Sphere
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, artificial plants, artificial fruits, plastic twine, Indian bells, casters
135 x 115 x 115 cm

Courtesy of Greene Naftali, New York

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Asymmetric Quadrupedal Bushy-head
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters
195 x 115 x 110 cm

Courtesy of Greene Naftali, New York

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Naturalized Klangkörper
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, artificial plants, artificial fruits, artificial vegetable, plastic twine, Indian bells, fringes, casters
180 x 150 x 100 cm

Courtesy of Greene Naftali, New York

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Dragon Conglomerate
2016

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, plastic twine
180 x 115 x 115 cm

Courtesy of Greene Naftali, New York

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Hairy Taoist Fairy Egg
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, plastic twine
156 x 124 x 133 cm

Private collection

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Ceremonial Peacock Ball
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, metal grid, powder coating, casters, Indian bells, Korean bridal crowns, artificial feathers
116 x 128 x 130 cm

Courtesy of dépendance, Brussels

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Celebration of Three Spheres III
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, plastic twine, nickel plated bells, artificial plants, Korean bridal crowns, nest basket, artificial feathers
190 x 90 x 140 cm

Courtesy of Greene Naftali, New York

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Celebration of Three Spheres II
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, plastic twine, nickel plated bells
185 x 85 x 115 cm

Courtesy of Greene Naftali, New York

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Airflow of Pyramid Winnow
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, artificial plants, plastic twine
180 x 95 x 95 cm

Courtesy of Kukje Gallery, Seoul

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Long Neck Woman
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, artificial plants
220 x 97 x 90 cm

Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Scruffy Dragon Ball
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, metal grid, powder coating, casters, Korean bridal crowns, plastic twine, nickel plated bells
125 x 135 x 135 cm

Collection of Rudy Tseng collection, Taipei, Taiwan

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang


The Intermediate – Pair Incarnate, Gwynplaine and Ursus
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, plastic twine, metal bells, Korean bridal crowns
220 x 110 x 90 cm

Private collection, Stuttgart

Photo: Nich Ash


The Intermediate – Pair Incarnate, Gwynplaine and Dea
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, plastic twine, artificial plants, thimbles, Korean bridal crowns
170 x 185 x 90 cm

Courtesy of Galerie Barbara Wien, Berlin

Photo: Nich Ash


The Intermediate – Extraterritorial and Extraterrestrial Target on Gourd
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, turbine vents, root carving, plastic twine, artificial plants, pine cones, wigs, Indian bells, Korean bridal crowns
158 x 130 x 90 cm

Collection Ignacio Lopez Beguiristain and Laura Guerra

Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano


The Intermediate – Lion Dance on One Leg
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, Indian bells, plastic twine, knitting yarn, cord, Korean bridal crowns
215 x 160 x 94 cm

Collection of Leo Shih

Photo: © Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art


The Intermediate – Basket Totem on Triple Leg
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, plastic twine, cotton twine, jute twine, knitting yarn, cord, artificial feathers, seashells, conch shells, metal rings, metal chain, metal bells

230 x 105 x 95 cm

Collection of Leo Shih

Photo: © Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art


The Intermediate – Chinese Bride
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, Indian bells, gourds, jute twine, 3 colors band

190 x 125 x 130 cm

Collection of Leo Shih

Photo: © Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art


The Intermediate – Triple Sphere on Pyramid Totem
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, Indian bells, artificial plants, plastic twine, cord, metal rings, metal bells

280 x 120 x 120 cm

Collection of Leo Shih

Photo: © Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art


The Intermediate – Hairy Dragon Ball
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, metal grid, powder coating, casters

130 x 130 x 130 cm

Collection of Leo Shih

Photo: © Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art


The Intermediate – Sea Lotus
2015

Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, casters, root carving, cotton twine, jute twine, cord, artificial seaweed, barnacles, abalone shells, sea shells, conch shells, metal basket, palm tree basket, coconut basket, gourds, wood perches, bird toys, trumpet, rubber object

215 x 110 x 110 cm

Collection of Leo Shih

Photo: © Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art


The Intermediate – After Lala Tulpan
2015

Artificial straw, aluminum profile, steel frame, powder coating
Pyramid: 320 x 498 x 498 cm
Columns: 2 pieces, each 595 x 210 x 210 cm

Courtesy of the artist

Installation view of Shooting the Elephant 象 Thinking the Elephant, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, 2015
Photo: © Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art


The Intermediate – After Borobudur
2015

Artificial straw, aluminum profile, powder coating, plastic twine
275 x 489 x 585 cm

Courtesy of the artist

Installation view of Shooting the Elephant 象 Thinking the Elephant, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, 2015
Photo: © Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art




The Intermediate – After El Castillo
2015

Artificial straw, aluminum profile, powder coating

405 x 570 x 599 cm

Courtesy of the artist

Installation view of Shooting the Elephant 象 Thinking the Elephant, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, 2015
Photo: © Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

The Intermediates, a new group of works introducing extensive straw craftwork, focuses on the dispersion of materials and craft. While the various cultures of different regions have a degree of fundamental similarity, each civilization also constructs its own individuality; these works likewise explore folk concepts that have their own independent identity but, at the same time, a certain universality. Using straw―a material with folk implications, but which is common across human civilization―and the methodology of traditional straw craftwork, the artist approaches a level of interdisciplinary hybrid culture that transcends similarity and difference.

On the other hand, the material used in The Intermediates is artificial, not natural, straw. In earlier works like Female Natives (2010) the artist has used artificial materials such as plastic plants that represent nature in an industrial light. Humorously reflecting our modern environment and the ways in which it can cheaply, easily imitate and substitute nature, the artist ironically evokes the organic materials, crafts, and memories of nature originally implied by commercial substitutions that are routinely consumed and forgotten.

In the artist’s new sculptural group The Intermediates, three works make references to architecture from different cultures and religions. These include El Castillo, known as The Pyramid of Kukulcan, from the Mayan civilization; the Borobudur Temple, an ancient Buddhist temple in Indonesia estimated to have been constructed in the early 8th century; and Russia’s Lala Tulpan, constructed in the late 20th century and known as the “Tulip in Bloom.” These three landmarks, with contexts and styles derived from different periods, geographies, and religions, are not a representation of mainstream world history but were chosen arbitrarily and subjectively. While larger than models, the sculptures are of a median size that is well below the scale of the actual architecture. They are a colony of architectural representations reduced by an arbitrary ratio, made from prefabricated aluminum frames (not a heavy material meant to endure for centuries) and covered with straw thatching. Here, “intermediate” is not the intermediateness of a particular folklore configured by individual, geographic differences; it is a universal synthesis indicated by a mediation that can be generated only amidst the space between those individual cultures.

Set up between the three Intermediates referencing architecture are another six Intermediates that can be categorized as sculptural figures. Lion Dance on One Leg is a figure standing on one leg with a one-meter- diameter spherical head adorned with a Korean bridal headpiece. Below its large head hang clusters of bells, like those hung around the necks of cows in India and ones used in shamanistic rituals and festivals; on the rear of its head is a cape in the form of a long tongue. Standing at 2.8 meters, Triple Sphere on Pyramid Totem is a figure consisting of three small, spherical heads decorated with a fountain-shaped ornament over a quadrangular pyramid torso. Vintage Indian bells hang from the three spheres, and artificial cacti and succulents sprout from the corners of the pyramid, as if growing out of the dried straw. Basket Totem on Triple Leg bears a densely-woven straw basket on its head and clutches a straw doll to its torso. Hairy Dragon Ball is the only piece that is not a vertical figure; spherical, it looks as if it will roll around the gallery space, with a head of unkempt hair made from densely-packed straw as if sprouting out from a thatched roofline. Chinese Bride is a seated figure resembling a bride covered head-to-toe in cloth in preparation for her wedding ceremony. Sea Lotus is a sculpture of a lotus blossom not yet fully in bloom. Bearing four petals on a base made from a root carving and adorned with clamshells and artificial seaweed, it appears as if it rose from the sea.

This installation group is formed through the combination of large, straw sculptures with familiar, regional architectural forms and figurative sculptures whose forms are at once geometrical and organic. Following The Intermediates into the interior of the exhibition space, we find ourselves in a location that seems ancient yet at the same time resembles an unfamiliar, otherworldly landscape. Straw, while associated with folklore, at a glance calls to mind totems of mysterious ideas lying dormant. The Intermediates bring on momentary collisions between disparate feelings and intimate emotions, arousing an awareness of a new hybrid sense of time and place.

(Shooting the Elephant 象Thinking the Elephant Exhibition Catalogue, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, 2015)


Exhibition history

Quasi-Pagan Seasonal Shift, Aïshti by the Sea, Antelias, Lebanon, 2016

The Grand Balcony, La Biennale de Montréal, Montréal, Canada, 2016

Quasi-Pagan Modern, Galeries Lafayette, Paris, France, 2016

Quasi-Pagan Serial, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany, 2016

Presently, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Germany, 2016

Quasi-Pagan Minimal, Greene Naftali, New York, USA, 2016

Come Shower or Shine, It Is Equally Blissful, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China, 2015

Temporary Permanent, Galerie Barbara Wien, Berlin, Germany, 2015

Shooting the Elephant 象 Thinking the Elephant, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, 2015

 

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