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Curatorial Statement "Metal as a Medium"

What is added value? Starting with giving availability by polishing basic materials to make tools, ​​we are constantly creating added value in our lives. Alchemy is the dream to maximize these added values.  These are endless efforts and dreams of human beings to use humble materials to create highly valued products such as gold or “fountain of youth” drugs. While alchemists’ efforts may be considered as useless, I believe that all art forms can be viewed in the same context.
Art, which produces the maximum added value of beauty and meaningful communication from basic materials, is alchemy. The extreme example of this attempt in art history can be found in Arte Povera. Piero Manzoni produced canned art of the human excrement in order to make authentic and universal value as an example < Artist’s shit -“Merda d’artista”(1961)> . The attempt to convert an overlooked everyday object to high art stimulated us. This alchemic action, which is the promotion of the objects, materials, processes, actions and concepts were not only materials themselves but also art itself, decorated art history for a while.
Now, we obtain the freedom of material as our methods from history and can freely choose and “cook” the methods which are released to express individual needs in art history. In this exhibition, I brought together artists who use metal as alchemy. In the form of their work, metal can be the process or result of them. Printers Catherine Bebout and Eileen Foti use copper and aluminum sheets in the process. Sculptors Walter Swales and Lynne Buschmann cast metals for their works. Innovative contemporary jewelers Robert Browning and Frederick Marshall use traditional methods and materials of jewelry, but transform them as the modern concept of beauty. Next-generation artists Hyun Jung Kim and Kristal Romano take methods from sculpture and jewelry to express their concepts.
Their works take different forms of stories, but they have a common effort to choose metal as a medium to create a better value.  The questions and the beauty of work in this exhibition are designed to provide an opportunity to viewers to add more value to their lives – Alchemy.
-   Hyun Jung Kim
2012, Spring