ANE Orange Logo - Final.png

Soo Sunny Park:
Fractured Illumination

Art New England, June/July 2009 


Strauss Gallery
Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire
January 13 - March 15, 2009

By Craig Stockwell

The first experience of viewing Park’s installation at Dartmouth is the experience of coming down the lobby toward the gallery and glimpsing a variety of visual layers wherein one sees simultaneously: surface glass, layers of cut drywall shapes, hive-like groupings of egg-carton cardboard forms, and…through it all…the late afternoon sun in the winter garden on the opposite side of the exterior windows. One is looking at both a deep interior area that reflects and swallows viewing, and the view down both sides of the gallery that carries one through to nature and light. The installation offers both depth and surface. This dual effect is reinforced by the image on the exhibition invitation, which features a pixilated detail of a view into the installation that reads thoroughly as a two-dimensional surface image. After the initial pleasure of viewing these layers, the question begins to develop as to discovering a guiding logic for the construction of this installation. 

The entire installation has an apparent coherence and sense of intention. It comes as a surprise to discover, on closer examination, the very rough and raw use of materials and lack of finish. This dichotomy seems healthy in that one is reminded of the temporary and playful element in the making of such an intensive space. The egg carton-hive shapes are tacked together by glue-gun and threads of glue run everywhere. The drywall sheets are marked all over with pencil drawing and are casually painted and roughly cut. The little pieces of honeycombed metal are stuck into various openings in the egg carton structures. There is a sense of just adequate crafting, just enough to do what is needed. After contemplating the egg carton structures, the shadows cast, and the drywall cut into Arp-like shapes I finally guessed that the drywall is cut in response to the shadows cast by the egg carton structures…thus turning a modular grid based system into organic roundness. This leads to a consideration of this installation as a rumination on systems of nature and illumination: shadows, glittering metallic jewels made of industrial waste, 

And, finally, this installation must be considered in reference to its title and the effective creation in three dimensions of a painting-like experience that one can look at on its surface and then literally enter into and enjoy.