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26 MAY, 2006

In conjunction with SNAG Conference Chicago, the new exhibition presents wire sculptures of two Asian artists, Keysook Geum and Jin Dian Shi. Keysook Geum’s sculptures posed in clothing are fashioned from paper-wrapped wire, and often embellished with silk, beads, sequins, feathers, coral, or bits of amber stone. Her background in costume design for large-scale dance companies and theater productions is well reflected in each piece as graceful elegance and powerful energy. Geum is currently a professor in the textile department at Hong-Ik University in Seoul, Korea, where she lives and completes the majority of her work.The life-size 1940’s-vintage BMW of Chinese manufacture motorcycle made of stainless steel wire by Jin Dian Shi catches everyone’s eyes for its painstaking detail: at least two different gauges of wire were used in its construction, a heavier (black) gauge for the chassis, which provides the sculpture’s rigidity, and a lighter (silver) gauge for most of the parts. The effect is an anatomical translucency that highlights each and every one of the bike’s amazing details. The shock springs within the front fork are clearly visible for instance, as well as the interior element of the bike’s headlamp. Even at close inspection the sculpture’s details remain flawlessly true to form. Mr. Shi is in his 50’s and a professor at the Schichuan Academy of Fine Art in China. This is the third such motorcycle he has built in his lifetime and the only one in America (“the best one” he proclaims). The other two are on display in museums in Korea and France. This phenomenal workmanship is “largely missing from contemporary art created in the west” wrote Mr. Alan Artner, senior art critic at the Chicago Tribune, in his review of this piece. This exhibition includes eight pairs of shoes made of the same wire painted in black and white. Jin Dian Shi is represented in America exclusively by the Andrew Bae Gallery.

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