What we find inspirational differs from man to man. The concept of finding a personal emotional engine to run is essential to everyone’s self-fulfilment. It may be difficult to find what drives you, but when you do it immediately becomes one of the main guidelines of your life. That something literally defines you. In the case of Shan Hur, his inspiration has been found in a most unusual place – in closed shops and construction sites. He finds ruined buildings fascinating and his work reflects that. Hur displays half-finished, apparently damaged and improvised segments of basic construction elements such as walls and pillars.
It might be best to define Shan Hur as an architectural interventionist. This unique creative role might sound a bit strange but it’s actually the most precise way to describe his work. Hur transforms ordinary components of our interiors and exteriors into something new, usually chaotic. He tears holes in walls, disfigures pillars to a point where they appear to be on the brink of breaking and damaged concrete in a controlled, yet violent way. The beauty of such pieces is the fact that we walk by similar damaged constructive segments on a daily basis. We don’t even look at them twice (usually not even once), but when Hur displays them we pay attention. Why we act this way is the main reason behind Hur’s work. Another aspect of Shan’s portfolio are pieces that he does not destroy but keeps intact in a twisted way that makes them utterly illogical when compared to their original concepts. The best example of such ideas is twisting pillars in a knot, which actually makes for a great visual effect. It is easy to misjudge Hur’s art as something absurd but do not be fooled – Shan holds an M.F.A from Slade and a B.F.A in Sculpture from Seoul National University, so his understanding of art shouldn’t be brought to question.
Using different techniques to damage architectural pieces is what defines Shan’s unique work. But often he does not stop there – Hur enjoys placing seemingly random objects inside cracks and holes of his pieces! It’s not unusual to see a basketball inside a pillar or coins from different countries stuck inside a hole in a drywall. These additions are sometimes subtle and hard to notice but using this randomness Hur shows us once more that logic is not our friend when it comes to his art. Hiding different treasures while intervening on constructional parts also adds a little playful note to Shan’s style and makes his work a lot more exciting.
The interesting part of Hur’s art becomes apparent when it’s time to display it. It seems confusing if you are not aware of Shan’s concepts – you would look upon an empty gallery with damaged walls, broken pillars, smashed glass and ruined floors. There wouldn’s be a single photo, painting or a sculpture in sight. Such design definitely brings in question our standards of what art is. His exhibitions resemble construction sites more than insides of the galleries – his work directly confronts the confines of a gallery space. Because of such presentations we can describe Hur’s art as camouflaged. Since we are on the topic of displaying his work, Shan Hur held a large number of solo and group exhibitions in England and his home country. He was recognized for his contributions numerous times, most notably when he entered the finals in the Art Caitlin prize competition.
As mentioned in the paragraph above, Hur makes us question what we perceive as art or artistic. That Duchampian moment in his work definitely turns the conventional notion of what constitutes a work of art on its head. By his fascination of transforming and reconfiguring space, he reveals the beauty in the mundane and ruined – and also in ignored surroundings of our everyday life. Just because we don’t pay attention to some things, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there or that they don’t matter. This is what Shan Hur is indirectly trying to tell us – pay attention because even in places where we believe everything to be trivial, things may not be as apparent as they seem.
The artist is represented by Gazelli Art House in London, England.
Featured Image: Shan Hur – Circle on the wall, no format space, 2012 – Photo Credits Silvia Krupinska
All images used for illustrative purposes only.
|2015||Shan Hur||Gazelli art house, London, UK||solo|
|2014||Shan Hur||Noformat gallery, London, UK||solo|
|2014||A New Column for Manchester||Manchester University, Manchester, UK||solo|
|2013||L’ÂGE D’OR||Aando fine art, Berlin, Germany||solo|
|2013||Soldier's Tale||Asia House, London, UK||group|
|2013||The Tainted||Gazelli art house, London, UK||group|
|2012||4482 V||Bargehouse, London, UK||group|
|2012||Bodhi||Gazelli art house, London, UK||group|
|2012||When I spoke its name…||7 Rue Gustave Nadaud 75016, Paris, France||group|
|2012||The Function of The Oblique - Part I | Resistance||Noformat gallery, London, UK||group|
|2012||Per annum: 12||The Contemporary London,London, UK||group|
|2012||The Function of The Oblique - Part II | Action||Son gallery, London, UK||group|
|2012||Oriel Davies Open 2012||Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, Wales||group|
|2012||Place Not Found||Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery, London, UK||group|
|2012||Architecture as Human Nature||Supermarkt-berlin, Berlin, Germany||group|
|2011||Inclined Angles||Hanmi gallery, London, UK||solo|
|2011||4seen||The gardens gallery , Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK||group|
|2011||4482 IV||Bargehouse, London, UK||group|
|2011||The Open West||Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK||group|
|2011||Acquisition||London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, London, UK||group|
|2011||Having a dig||Arch402, London, UK||group|
|2010||CUBE Open 2010||CUBE: Centre for the Built Environment, Manchester, UK||group|
|2010||The grass will grow over the city||Hackney Wicked Festival,London, UK||group|
|2010||Present from the past||Korean Cultural Centre London, UK||group|
|2010||4482 III||Bargehouse, London, UK||group|
|2010||Artist in residence||HEAL'S, London, UK||group|
|2009||Make it. Print it. Pack it. Ship it||closed shop(Fedex), London, UK||group|
|2009||CROSS FIELDS||Korean Cultural Centre London, UK||group|
|2007||B.F.A Degree Show||Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea||group|