Playing with light and vision

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Playing with light and vision

The work of Tobias Rehberger is designed to evoke sheer visual pleasure in those viewing it. Made of colored Plexiglas hung from the gallery ceiling, his latest installation, “Seven Ends of the World,” resembles a lavish furniture exhibit at first glance.
Indeed, the work, which consists of lamps that represent seven locations around the world, was made in collaboration with an Italian glass artist during Tobias’s display at last year’s Venice Biennial.
But the work, in essence, questions the concept of light, which the artist has been exploring over a long period of time. It delves into the effects of lighting in relation to our sense of time and space.
Each lamp in the room is connected by the Internet to lighting from the seven locations around the world, filling the gallery room with different rhythms of life.
His other work, “Cabinet Series,” explores light as memory. The series displays seven closed boxes that each contain a TV playing a movie that deals with themes of separation. Viewers can hear the movies, but only see the light through small slits in the box.
In a similar manner, Rehberger challenges his viewers to gather visual imagination with another piece, “Communication Terror,” a projection on the wall that casts shadows of scenes from the film “Cast Away.”
An emerging celebrity in the contemporary German art scene, Rehberger explores how light and mood correspond to each other.
The artist, whose works are currently on display at the Art Sonje Center, has been involved with a dizzying array of media, including architecture, sculpture, painting, publication, design and film over the past five years.
Rehberger’s works are recognized for combining minimalist traditions with a postmodern sense of humor.
Tsutsumu, a “Japanese” oval garden the artist constructed out of a bonsai tree, artificial snow, stone sculptures and a garden bench for a project for EXPO 2000 in Hanover, drew a positive response from visitors and critics alike.
His site-specific installations have appeared at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York and the Venice Biennale last year.
The artist’s works are also known for reflecting his preoccupation with his personal environment. Much of the work he does is not only made for, but also inspired by, his friends, other artists, gallery owners and art collectors.
“Some Sized Parents to a Semi Defined O-Space,” a series of office supplies and furniture the artist produced for the staff of Art Sonje Center, is a typical example.

by Park Soo-mee

The exhibition runs through Aug. 1. For more information call (02) 733-8945.
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