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Resilience learned from nature informs Kwon Chi-gyu’s New York show

“Bio-Resilience-Universe,” by Kwon Chi-gyu, at the “Artificial Nature” exhibition at Cheongju Museum of Art’s Ochang Gallery in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province (Courtesy of the artist)
“Bio-Resilience-Universe,” by Kwon Chi-gyu, at the “Artificial Nature” exhibition at Cheongju Museum of Art’s Ochang Gallery in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province (Courtesy of the artist)
Kwon Chi-gyu delves into the concept of resilience with the belief that as humans, we all have the power to overcome, which is deeply embedded in ourselves. After the yearslong pandemic, people are incrementally returning to normal life, slowly overcoming the unprecedented challenge of a lifetime.

Kwon has created sculptures inspired by nature -- more specifically nature in springtime, when the whole world seems to get its vitality back and earn new strength. The inspiration came naturally to the artist, as he himself was born in April in a small village of Sangju, North Gyeongsang Province, and grew up surrounded by mountains and green grass.

The artist will show some 20 sculptures mostly from his forest series at the “Return Resilience” exhibition for TYT Studio & Gallery in New York City that he opened late last year.

Kwon has used stainless steel as the main medium for his sculptures -- the best fit for his sculptures that require delicate craftsmanship. A dense forest with layers of trees, willow branches and leaves hanging down droopingly are among Kwon’s forest series that he has developed over the past decade, followed by his desire series. 
“Resilience-Forest” by Kwon Chi-gyu (Courtesy of the artist)
“Resilience-Forest” by Kwon Chi-gyu (Courtesy of the artist)
“The pandemic was not easy for everyone, but it seems we are getting some normalcy back in our lives. My works are about resilience and the power of getting back to where we were,” Kim said. “We can also find the clue to resilience from nature.”

Kwon’s works are currently on display in “Artificial Nature” at Cheongju Museum of Art’s Ochang Gallery in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province. His “Bio-Resilience-Universe” series is hung from the ceiling as though they are chandeliers with layers of tree branches.

The show runs through July 10.

Kwon is married to sculptor Kim Kyung-min, whose works capture the happiness and humor of ordinary life.

The exhibition at TYT Studio & Gallery runs July 6-27.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)
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