It’s easy to forget that the world is experiencing a crisis in biodiversity, one that some scientists have called a “sixth extinction.” Humanity has grown ever more isolated from the rest of the animal kingdom, hiding away in climate controlled boxes and behind glowing screens. In his new solo exhibition at form & concept, Korean ceramicist Wookjae Maeng ushers animals out of the wild and into the spotlight. His detailed porcelain sculptures of deer, rhinos, lions, bighorn sheep and other creatures bring viewers back in touch with beings that are often pushed to the margins. Wookjae Maeng: BALANCE opens on Friday, October 27 from 5-7 pm. This exhibition runs through December 23, 2017.
A menagerie of golden-eyed, ceramic creatures has arrived at form & concept for Wookjae Maeng’s solo exhibition BALANCE this Friday. The animals were accompanied by a small media circus this week. BALANCE was prominently featured in Santa Fe Reporter‘s calendar section, and Emily Van Cleve covered the show in Santa Fe Arts Journal. Here’s an excerpt from her write-up:
“The theme of my work is to represent the complex, ambiguous and uncomfortable relationship between man and animal,” says Wookjae Maeng, a South Korean artist whose porcelain wall hangings and pedestal pieces of deer, rhinos, lions, bighorn sheep and other creatures are on display in form & concept’s show “Balance” that opens on October 27.
Some animals are presented like hunting trophies, while other sculptures highlight the invisibility of the animal world to the human eye. All of Maeng’s animals have golden eyes that confront the viewer.
Click here to read the full piece, which includes a quote from our director Frank. This Friday, Pasatiempo covered the show in its Exhibitionism section. Here’s a snippet of Michael Abatemarco’s write-up:
Maeng’s wall-mounted portraits of deer, rhinos, lions, and bighorn sheep, beautifully rendered in porcelain, call our attention to animals brought to the brink of extinction and crises in biodiversity. Hung in a trophy-like manner, they also underscore the separation between humankind and the rest of the animal kingdom.
It’s easy to forget that the world is experiencing a crisis in biodiversity, one that some scientists have called a “sixth extinction.” Humanity has grown ever more isolated from the rest of the animal kingdom, hiding away in climate controlled boxes and behind glowing screens. In his new solo exhibition at form & concept, Korean ceramicist Wookjae Maeng ushers animals out of the wild and into the spotlight. His detailed porcelain sculptures of deer, rhinos, lions, bighorn sheep and other creatures bring viewers back in touch with beings that are often pushed to the margins. Wookjae Maeng: BALANCE opens on Friday, October 27 from 5-7 pm. Make sure to RSVP for the reception on Facebook, and scroll down to preview more works from the show.
“The theme of my work is to represent the complex, ambiguous and uncomfortable relationship between man and animal,” says Maeng. “The human is on the top of the ecological pyramid now and can manage all kinds of fellow creatures. However, the environmental situation continues to worsen and that tension is what I wish to explore.” Maeng’s animal portraits often bear evidence of human intervention. Some are presented like hunting trophies, with their disembodied heads mounted on wooden boards. Other sculptures highlight the invisibility of the animal world to the human eye, camouflaging the creatures on patterned panels. All of Maeng’s animals have one thing in common: golden eyes that confront the viewer with an unblinking ferocity.
Maeng lives in Seoul, South Korea, where he received his PhD in ceramic design from Kookmin University in 2015. He has lived in Sweden, and traveled extensively through Europe and North America. His encounters with animals in the United States and Canada helped inspire his artistic explorations of the natural world, a fixation that’s visible in his earliest work as a BFA student in Korea. The artist has exhibited in Santa Fe once before, in a 2015 group show at Peters Projects titled Trophies & Prey: A Contemporary Bestiary.
Though Maeng’s work often highlights humanity’s negative impact on the animal kingdom, he seeks to inspire a new awareness in his viewers. “In order to thrive, [humanity’s relationship with animals] demands careful coexistence and balance between the urban and the natural… and empathy for less visible creatures,” Maeng says. “In my work I hope to provide an opportunity—however brief—for modern man to consider the realities of the environment in which he exists, even as he continues his daily existence indifferent to it.”
The high season is coming to a close in Santa Fe, but form & concept has an action-packed autumn in the works. We’re throwing a David Bowie costume party, hosting a musical tribute to Lou Harrison, and launching Laila Farcas-Ionescu’s fierce new feline-themed jewelry line. Korean ceramicist Wookjae Maeng and local feminist artist Thais Mather debut solo shows, and artists from around the world reflect on gun violence prevention in a powerful group show. A crew of maverick jewelers presents wearable artworks in the form & concept shop, and our represented artists gather for a holiday art making workshop (with hot cider and cookies) in our atrium. In a fitting finale for 2017, artists from a number of past form & concept shows reconvene for an invitational small works exhibition in our stairwell. Learn more about all of our upcoming exhibitions and events below, and watch our event page for updates.
InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Costume Party
Sunday, October 15, 5-7 pm | RSVP-only
Click here to RSVP for this free event.
For one wild evening in October, the InterPlanetary Project will ride David Bowie’s star-dusted coattails to the outer reaches of the imagination. The InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Costume Party lands at form & concept on the weekend of InterPlanetary’s fall event series. Hosted by Creative Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Institute, the party is a free, RSVP-only event with a cash bar by Santa Fe Spirits and interstellar hors d’oeuvres by form & concept. Guests who wear David Bowie-themed costumes will be entered into a raffle for fun prizes.
Image: David Bowie & Thomas Ashcraft.
Wookjae Maeng | Balance
October 27 – December 23
Opening Reception: Friday, October 27, 5-7 pm
It’s easy to forget that the world is experiencing a crisis in biodiversity, one that some scientists have called a “sixth extinction.” Humanity has grown ever more isolated from the rest of the animal kingdom, hiding away in climate controlled boxes and behind glowing screens. In his new solo exhibition at form & concept, Korean ceramicist Wookjae Maeng ushers animals out of the wild and into the spotlight. His detailed porcelain sculptures of deer, rhinos, lions, bighorn sheep and other creatures bring viewers back in touch with beings that are often pushed to the margins.
Image: Wookjae Maeng, Grey adaptation-Rhino, porcelain, wood, 8.7 x 11.5 x 11.8 in.
Pussy Bites Back Jewelry Line
Saturday, October 28th, 5-7 pm
It’s no mistake that Laila Farcas-Ionescu’s launch party for the Pussy Bites Back jewelry line falls just before the anniversary of last year’s presidential election. The series is filled with imagery of fierce felines, in reference to the Pussyhat phenomenon and the political scandal that incited it. Still, Ionescu would rather look forward than back. “It’s more than just a visceral reaction to the political situation, it’s a symbol of empowerment,” Farcas-Ionescu says. “At this party, everyone will have the chance to release some pent-up energy with a good, long roar.” Ionescu will unveil rings, earrings, bracelets and pendants from the new series, along with a powerful manifesto and some fun surprises.
Image: Laila Farcas-Ionescu, Pussy Bites Back rings.
Guns to Art Benefit Show
November 7 – 17
Reception & Live Auction: Friday, November 17th, 4 – 7 PM
Decommissioned firearms aren’t the most pliable artistic medium, but that hasn’t stopped faculty and students at Santa Fe Community College from reshaping them into stunning artworks. They’ve been hard at work bending, slicing, shredding and melting old guns into sculptures, jewelry and even apparel. This fall, the art will appear at a special reception, live auction and silent auction in support of in support of art and welding scholarships at SFCC and the 501(c)3 non-partisan organization New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, along with juried works by artists from across the world that reflect on gun violence prevention.
Thais Mather | Reckless Abandon
November 24th, 2017 – February 18th, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, November 24, 5-7 pm
Reading: Saturday, November 25, 2-3 pm
Performance: Friday, December 15, 5-7 pm- $5-$10 suggested donation
“I think people are getting these catastrophic feelings, that this is the end,” says Thais Mather. “I don’t believe in that. I think this is a beginning.” The feminist artist’s new exhibition, Reckless Abandon, comes at a time of cultural, political and environmental upheaval. It’s an ideal moment to examine human history from a revolutionary stance—and present urgent questions that can reveal a new path forward. Through a monumental art installation and an interconnected series of performances and events, Mather will challenge viewers to abandon patriarchal structures in favor of a transcendent vision for humanity.
Microcosm | Small Works Invitational
November 24 – December 23
Opening Reception: Friday, November 24, 5-7 pm
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together,” said Vincent Van Gogh. form & concept takes this thought to its logical conclusion in MICROCOSM, a holiday exhibition of small works by contributors to the gallery’s previous exhibitions. Over 20 artists, craftspeople and designers return with diminutive and dynamic offerings that measure 8 x 10 inches or smaller. The show fills the gallery’s stairwell and atrium, forming a charming microcosm of the space’s history—and representing a new chapter in each contributor’s story.
Nicola Heindl, Bunny Tobias, Charles Greeley, Mandy Cano Villalobos, Vanessa Michel, Susan Beiner, Wesley Anderegg, Priscilla Dobler, Jason Villegas, Garth Amundson + Pierre Gour, Jonathan Nelson, Lisa Klakulak, Katie Craney, Rena Detrixhe, Robert Ebendorf, Matthew Mullins, Aleta Braun, Heidi Brandow, Mark Newport, Ryan Singer, Brian Fleetwood
November 24, 2017 – January 6, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, November 24, 5-7 pm
Smitten Forum is an annual gathering of visionary makers from the metals and jewelry field. A new group of artists is selected each year by Sara Brown and Marissa Saneholtz, and meets for one intensive week to make work and share inspiration. The next gathering takes place in Abiquiu, New Mexico, coinciding with the debut of the Smitten Forum exhibition at form & concept in Santa Fe. The show includes artwork by all of this year’s Smitten Forum participants, a tribute to the crackling energy of this ever-growing creative community.
Image: Smitten Forum.
Holiday Makers Workshop
Saturday, December 2, 12-3 pm
These days, the most popular holiday gifts are seamless slabs of glass and metal, but unique and hand-hewn objects are making a serious comeback. The makers who exhibit artworks and jewelry at form & concept are living proof of this phenomenon, and they’ll gather this holiday season to celebrate the traditional tools and techniques that bolster their contemporary creativity. The public is invited to sip cider, munch on gingerbread cookies and engage with form & concept artists at the Holiday Makers Workshop. form & concept will offer a special 10% holiday discount during the event. The Holiday Makers Workshop also features the debut of the first-ever form & concept annual, a free publication that includes a first look at the gallery’s 2018 schedule, artist profiles and more.
Gamelan Encantada | In Honor of Lou
Saturday, December 2, 4-6 pm
$15-$25 suggested donation
West Coast composer Lou Harrison’s 100th birthday party has been a yearlong, global affair. The Harrison House in Joshua Tree, California live streamed a 24-hour celebration, Bill Alves and Brett Campbell published a sweeping new biography, and renowned musicians have played tribute concerts from New York City to San Francisco. Harrison passed away in 2003 at age 85, but his influence as a composer, instrument builder, environmentalist, pacifist and gay rights activist is as resonant as ever. This autumn, the party rolls into Santa Fe at an event presented by Albuquerque percussion ensemble Gamelan Encantada and LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit Equality NM. In Honor of Lou features a concert of Harrison’s works for gamelan instruments, along with a screening of the biographical film Lou Harrison: Cherish, Conserve, Consider, Create. All proceeds from the event will benefit Equality NM.
Image: Lou Harrison.
Click here to learn more about form & concept’s fall schedule.