Brooklyn artist Sui Park MDes 13 wowed critics with Thought Bubbles, a site-specific installation that was on view earlier this fall as part of the seventh annual Governors Island Art Fair in New York. Constructed from plastic cable ties, the luminous organic shapes she’s woven are meant to reflect the amorphous, dynamic nature of thoughts and ideas. But they also call to mind microscopic life forms and otherworldly pods.
“My work involves creating three-dimensional flexible forms that are dynamic and illusionary,” says Park. “They are representations of abstract concepts – social ideas, values or perspectives. Like words that connect to form thoughts, the cable ties connect to form lines, shapes and ambience.”
Park created the pieces to be displayed in a narrow, paint-peeling room inside a dilapidated 19th-century army barracks on Governors Island, where the exhibition was held. And that synergy between the work and the space is important, since she earned a Master of Design from RISD’s Interior Architecture department and has a deep and complicated relationship with interior spaces.
“I always look for the inner beauty of a site,” says Park. “The process that I go through in planning site-specific installations is very similar to the process we practiced in the IA department at RISD, where the focus is on adaptive reuse.”
Another recent site-specific work that was born of this process is Blue Print, which Park installed at an abandoned factory building in Philadelphia for a 2014 exhibition called Force Field Project. Like her Thought Bubbles, these sculptures were made of plastic cable ties. But they mimicked the shape of the warehouse’s colonnade, standing quietly as half-formed, ghostlike shadows of their massive concrete neighbors.
Park is currently showing her work in Contour Sculptures, a solo show at Denise Bibro Fine Art in Chelsea on view through December 13. She says the exhibition is made up mostly of 3D objects but also includes an interactive, site-specific installation.
She is continuing to find artistic inspiration in Brooklyn and has no immediate plans to move back to her native South Korea. “Brooklyn has a great, diverse arts community with a variety of new challenges and resources,” Park notes. “I have some ideas that I want to continue to explore, and I have plans to start creating interior spaces as well. In all of my work, I try to create opportunities for audiences to see, think and most of all feel their surroundings from various perspectives.”
Through an NSF-funded summer internship at the Nature Lab, students from RISD and Roger Williams University create a website to help kids better understand the value of marine life.
Students and faculty in Industrial Design have contributed to a project that’s helping people cope with the public health crisis of opioid overdose.
Thanks to generous support from Hasbro, local high school students benefitted from the opportunity to explore the possibilities of toy and game design at RISD.