wonmin park`s "unding" exhibit plays with translucency & light at carpenters workshop gallery

Designboom_ ‘Unding: Restoration of Existence’ is a solo exhibition at Carpenters Workshop Gallery New York by South Korean artist Wonmin Park. The exhibit is named after the term Unding, which means ‘unthing’ or ‘non-thing,’ coined by German-Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han. Han explains Undinge as objective absences, intangible non-objects that are taking over physical world objects due to the increasing presence of digital reality.

On view from May 9 to July 27, 2023, Restoration of Existence sees the flawlessly intertwining of different materials and qualities that represent the beauty of nature. Taking organic forms, the pieces symbolize the core of the Earth, and every aperture of colored resin depicts an inland sea. Stone, steel, glass, and resin create an interplay of color and light exuding immutable and poetic characteristics.

‘In my designs, I want objects to speak for themselves. To be beautiful, attractive and engage with their surroundings. My work embraces simplicity, purity, and subtlety. People who experience my design have the space to explore their own sensations and emotions,’ says Wonmin Park.

Wonmin’s artworks at Carpenters Workshop Gallery exemplify and respond to Han’s theory by displaying material negatives and opposites through his two series, ‘Stone and Steel’ and ‘Plain Cuts Remediated’. His Stone and Steel pieces, created using volcanic rock and industrial steel, are presented as ‘objects’ balanced against the colored resin and glass ‘non-objects’ of his Remediated artworks.

Park employs resin and metal to enhance the aesthetic value of his work, resulting in a surreal and dreamy quality. The chosen materials create a vision that seems to lack defined boundaries and is held together by the interplay of light and air. By designing the furniture this way, Park effectively transforms it into sculptural pieces that command attention and visual admiration.

The artist combines opposites that mutually define each other, as seen in the contrast of Stone and Steel, using one material to highlight the qualities of the other. In the exhibition, he puts object against non-object, exploring their distinct natures by contextualizing them with each other. Throughout the two series, he compares the presence and absence of certain material qualities and conceptual characteristics.