American sculptor Tom Sachs invites Seoulites to his artistic indoctrination

Visitors view the “Tom Sachs Space Program: Indoctrination” exhibition at the Art Sonje Center in Seoul on June 26. (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)

Visitors view the “Tom Sachs Space Program: Indoctrination” exhibition at the Art Sonje Center in Seoul on June 26. (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)

Long lines were formed to see the works of US sculptor Tom Sachs when shows began in late June at the Art Sonje Center, Thaddaeus Ropac and Hybe Insight. It is unprecedented to hold exhibitions of the same artist simultaneously in three different venues throughout Seoul.

Born in 1966, the New York -based artist’s sculptures show twists in contemporary society, culture, politics, and economy. A self -proclaimed guilty consumer who lives in a time of instant gratification, Sachs questioned the excessive consumption and the short life span of the things we buy.

The artist uses bricolage where sculptures are created from ready or available objects, such as portable radios, umbrellas and batteries.

“His use of bricolage in his work shows us his process, like the tape he used or traces of mistakes he made while creating. We live in an era where we value the process more than the result. In I think, that’s why young people are fascinated with his work, ”Kim Sun-jung, founder of the Art Sonje Center who curated“ Tom Sachs Space Program: Indoctrination, ”told The Korea Herald.

An installation view of the “Tom Sachs Space Program: Indoctrination” at the Art Sonje Center in Seoul (Art Sonje Center)

An installation view of the “Tom Sachs Space Program: Indoctrination” at the Art Sonje Center in Seoul (Art Sonje Center)

The museum displays about 50 paintings and installations by Sachs. The exhibition is the fifth edition in his Space Program series, which began in 2007. The artist has explored the theme of space for more than 30 years, and his obsession with NASA has led to the creation of hand-made sculptures that related to US space agencies.

“NASA is a prestigious brand associated with science. It’s like Chanel of science,” the artist said at the artist’s talk held on June 26 at the Art Sonje Center, which made viewers laugh.

“Science and religion are on the same path to answer the same question: ‘Are we alone? Where did we come from? ‘ … In many ways, NASA – the brand – is the logo of living indefinitely, “he added.

When asked why he categorizes himself as a sculptor when he creates various works of art, the artist said, “Sculpture is where it all begins and ends.”

He believes that all work can be categorized into three things-spirituality, sensuality and stuff.

“Everything has a sculptural quality. Physical things are how we build a bridge to the spiritual. I’m a maker, and my priority is the thing, ”he said.

Tom Sachs ’“ Phonkey ”was on display at Hybe Insight in Seoul. (Hybe Insight)

Another exhibition, “Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective,” at Hybe Insight, showcases 13 of the artist’s Bricolage sculptures, including some of his early works. The sculptures on display at the cultural center managed by entertainment company Hybe feature musical elements such as radios, speakers and a CD player.

Works at Hybe Insight include “Phonkey,” a sculpture that combines images of a 1980s boombox and a NASA space probe.

At Thaddaeus Ropac, 14 paintings derived from the artist’s Rocket Factory NFT collection are displayed in an exhibition titled “Rocket Factory Paintings.” Sachs launched the Tom Sachs Rocket Factory last year, which invites people to create Rocket NFTs using branded NFT components- 30 brands are every pop culture icon, including Chanel, Budweiser, Coca- Cola and Apple.

“Admiral Achbar” by Tom Sachs (Thaddaeus Ropac gallery)

“Brands form our sense of tribal belonging,” the artist once said. “When I was a teenager, at the kitchen table we talked about my father’s new car or my mother’s new clothes. Brands are the foundation of the dominant religion of our time – consumerism. ”

“Tom Sachs Space Program: Indoctrination” at the Art Sonje Center will run until Aug. 7, while “Rocket Factory Paintings” at Thaddaus Ropac will end on Aug. 20, and “Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective” at Hybe Insight will run until Set. 11.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)