Canvas :: Ryu Ho-Yeol @ Conny Dietzschold

August 23rd 2011

The new exhibit by Korean artist Ryu Ho-Yeol is probably one of the hardest shows I’ve had to review and I think I’m starting to know why.

The exhibit is about movement: artificial movement to be precise. All over the walls are these digitally re-mastered images, video art pieces and crazy little video contraptions that sort of look like see-through boom-boxes? If you can picture that.

One of the stand-out works was Flughafen. It’s a photograph of hundreds of aeroplanes all taking off on the same trajectory, sort of like a stream of traffic at a green light. Ryu has Photo-shopped all the planes into the picture, and in some ways it looks completely normal, like aeroplanes are just a casual mode of transport. Then there’s Cable Car a Photo-shopped photograph of a cable-car, suspended in mid air, skewed just slightly, the people standing in the car unaware of tilting.

All of these artworks are trying to analyse the movement of the world against the structures of technology. You think that sounds a bit strange? You’d be correct; that’s what makes this exhibit so difficult to really get a handle on. Is it the world that’s tilted or is it the cable car? I guess it depends on the viewer. For me, I think Ryu is trying to say that the cable car is tilted, but that the world is turning to meet it there.

Let’s move onto those see-through boom-boxes I mentioned earlier. Video art pieces play in them. One is of a tree rustling in the wind and it is here that things get quirky again. The tree is artificially created, made out of hundreds of pieces of paper, some of them blowing away like leaves. A tree is probably as natural as you can get, and although Ryu has turned it into something synthetic you still see it as this alive, organic form.

For an exhibition on movement, I felt this was actually a bit stagnant. The images should have been larger; they could have overpowered the audience. There were too many different ideas attempted by a lot of contrasting artworks, and none were really focused on. Still, this is a great show for amazing photography that does get you thinking.

What: Ryu Ho-Yeol

Where: Conny Dietzschold Gallery, 2 Danks St, Waterloo

When: Until August 31


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