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A sinuous, light-responsive installation transforms staircase at the New Britain Museum of American Art
Soo Sunny Park (b. 1975), Boundary Conditions, 2014. Stainless steel, Plexi glass, paint. Commissioned through the Alice Osborne Bristol Fund, New Britain Museum of American Art.
NEW BRITAIN, CONN.- The New Britain Museum of American Museum announced the unveiling of the third site-specific installation to transform the LeWitt Staircase: Soo Sunny Park’s Boundary Conditions. Undulating forms sprawl above the landing between two opposing walls and fill the space with transmitted, reflected and refracted light. The structure is interlocking stainless steel grids, woven with various kinds of Plexiglass: edge-glowing, neon, mirrorized, and opaque. The cast shadows echo images painted across the dark gray walls.

Boundary Conditions harnesses light as a creative medium. Park says, “As a whole, the installation is neither the central form nor its shadows, but the structured space between them. Light, in this piece, does more than allow us to look at things. It reveals the rich structure of the liminal space we inhabit.” This installation blurs the line between painting with pigment and painting with light. Depending on the season and time of day, the installation changes from refulgent and prismatic to subdued and shimmering.

Soo Sunny Park is known for her otherworldly, immersive installations achieved through labor-intensive processes that manipulate commonplace materials. “I'm doing installation work,” she says, “to create an environment that looks as though or feels as though it’s an imaginative space, but you’re physically there, touching or experiencing it.” She is also interested in liminal, interstitial spaces: “My work reconfigures boundary materials—fencing, plastic, sheetrock—to expand and explore a variety of liminal spaces: spaces between inside and outside, sculpture and drawing, vision and what we see, objects and their shadows.” Thus, her work often exists within and responds to transitional environments, like the LeWitt staircase. As Park elaborates, “I associate ‘liminal’ with displacement. Maybe two things exist at once or someone is caught in the middle between two states. For me, liminal is the space between the physical and mental worlds – straddling both sides of a divide.”

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Soo Sunny Park received her BFA in painting and sculpture from Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, Ohio and a MFA in sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Park is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant; Grand Prize winner of the 19th Annual Michigan Fine Arts Competition; The Helen Foster Barnett Prize, National Academy Museum, New York; Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture residency, Skowhegan, Maine; Cité Internationale des Arts studio residency, Paris, France, and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Arts & Literary Arts Residency, Bellagio, Italy. Her most recent installations are Capturing Resonance (2011-12), created with composer Spencer Topel for the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and Unwoven Light (2013) for Rice Gallery in Houston, Texas. Soo Sunny Park lives and works in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she is Associate Professor of Studio Art at Dartmouth College.





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