Fall 2007, Degree Critical

Thursday 12/13/2007

Soo Sunny Park. Fractal Immersion (2007); drywall, wood, aluminum, egg carton, mylar, LED lights; 8 x 30 x 15 feet. Courtesy of the Artist.

Soo Sunny Park at Reeves Contemporary

by Sorada Thumrongvit (Class of 2008)

Soo Sunny Park, a Korean-born artist, took up half of the space at Reeves Contemporary with her most recent site-specific installation, Fractal Immersion. Park moved to the U.S. at the age of nine and received her BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Fractal Immersion occupied two walls in the back half of the gallery and all the space between them, leaving just enough room in the front for Beth Ganz’s show of landscape photographs. The work consisted of several layers of perforated roughly 6-foot-high sheetrock walls and some scattered organic-looking elements made of egg crates and air conditioning filters. The egg crates were dismantled and put back together in a modular structure that resembled a giant beehive.

Partially covered by the hive, the white sheetrock walls looked as if they had been eaten, digested, and disgorged to make a home for a colony of some ferocious giant bees. The stretched air conditioning filters with their beehivelike hexagonal patterning were placed in the hole of the egg crate modules, making them seem like protective shells of metamorphosing larvae. Although the hexagonal patterns of the filters evoked beehives, the shiny metal texture suggested human interference, as did, in fact, the unnatural scale of the hive. Here, we were in the realm of apocalyptic science fiction, where mankind is threatened by externalities of its own invention.

The modular structure in Park’s work usually emphasizes formalist tidiness, but in this case it also directed one’s attention to the mathematical perfection of natural structures. The piece brought to mind and commented on the issue of global warming, the concept of Intelligent Design, and every discussion that occurs in the confrontation between nature and science. By its alarmingly gluttonous presence, the work seemed to suggest that nature, polluted and defiled, has the power to strike back.