Korean Artist Project with Korean Art Museum
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Xooang Choi _curated by CHU Hyijeong
Unfamiliar Familiarity Whenever I encounter one of Xooang Choi’s sculptures, it feels as though I’m meeting someone who resembles me. Drawn by the gaze that seems to be looking at me, I approach the artwork. Slowly observing the sculpture before me, I realize that the lively expression of the body makes the work look real. But soon I notice another strange aspect that looks somehow eccentric. Strangely enough, the twisted and deformed parts grab my attention. Those parts are what resemble me. Xooang Choi’s sculptures are not merely meant for appreciation but to enable the observer to think about the meaning of looking at something. We call someone who we’ve seen for a long time and have become familiar with a friend. On the contrary, we call someone we’ve met for the first time a stranger. Yet sometimes we feel familiarity with a stranger and at times even empathy as we communicate through momentary facial expressions or body movements without conversing. The emotions we feel when we look at others operate from within us, regardless of whether or not we are well acquainted with them. Xooang Choi does not presuppose a particular shape or image when he sculpts. His work does not start from a stereotyped image but from what the artist senses and perceives from the world around him. Stemming from what the artist notices and senses from a society consisting of diverse emotions of many individuals, Choi’s sculpture evokes the viewer’s sympathy. The seemingly grotesque and inhuman appearance of Choi’s sculptures is a way of expression that draws the attention of viewers. Created through destruction, distortion, and recombination, Choi’s works enable me to encounter unfamiliar emotions such as emptiness, loneliness, and pain. The extremely realistic and detailed depiction of the human body serves as a medium for facing such emotions. Discover the familiar yet unfamiliar side of you from Xooang Choi’s exhibition, the result of the artist’s keen sensitivity and delicate artistry.


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