Causing surprise at first, but making perfect sense upon deeper thought. Beomsik Won’s gravity-defying collages have their origins in Lego, the plastic interlocking toy building blocks. The Korean artist would often play with them as a child, and the act of assembling structures and disassembling them to then create different ones struck a chord with him that later evolved into the act of making these digital photo-sculptural architectural compositions. Won cites Walter Benjamin’s ideas on phantasmagoria as well as the cultures of the East and the West as recurrent themes in his work. The impossible structural scenarios he imagines fuse urban fragments together from varying time periods, geographical locations, and architectural styles.
Beomsik Won’s pieces are assembled from dozens of black & white photographs, broken apart and put back together again in a complex process of deconstruction and reconstruction. The results of this technique are fantastical structures that appear to defy the laws of statics. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, they appear truly monumental. Like sculptures, these Archisculptures claim the urban space for themselves, enthroned above the streets below as if they had been there forever. Won’s genre-defying style produces architectural utopias that not only question our understanding of contemporary digital photography, but also explore the limits of human perception.
To Beomsik Won, architecture is a language that can be expanded, reduced, and manipulated at will. The range of possibilities architecture offers as an artistic medium is the driving force behind Won’s Archisculptures series. From architectural photographs and collages, he creates urban mirages, set in homogenous cultural landscapes just beyond the reality we know. The inspiration for these surreal works is the richness of London’s architecture, with its elegant buildings, baroque façades, giant shopping centres and famous theatres. Won digitally combines these elements to create a fascinating dialogue.
Although his work displays a broad range of artistic and philosophical influences, it is London’s architectural diversity that continues to inspire Beomsik Won. Having studied Photography and Metals & Jewellery Design in Seoul, Won moved to London and, in 2012, completed a degree in Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Fine Art. He is one of South Korea’s young, artistic expatriates, and his highly sought-after work has already been featured in numerous exhibitions, including in Paris, Hollywood, Seoul, and London.
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Archisculpture was featured in the Lumas Art Magazine, spring:summer::2015.
Absolutely Incredible : Beomsik Won
What on earth is that? When we first look at Beomsik Won’s photographs, we are filled with disbelif. That’s impossible! And yet, it is made possible through the art of photography. The Korean artist creates fantastical constructions in photo montages in which everything appears disordered and nothing fits together. They are still “true”, however-as works of art from the mind of their creator. To Won, photography offers the opportunity to turn everything upside down, to become an eccentric architect no longer bound by the rules of physics and the principles of construction.
Within this surreal, dream-like architecture, an entirely new vision appears, a contemporary urban utopia. Won creates a new world that he wants to share with us.