Sculpture for all ages
Back in 2008, on the Sculpture Terrace of New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, overlooking the sparkling turquoise ripple of Wellington harbour, PJD, Occasionally Travelled and I ran into some Oddooki (see photo at left). “What are Oddooki?”, you might well ask, as we did, that sunny day. Well, Oddooki are the creation of Auckland-based (until recently!), Korean-born multimedia artist Seung Yul Oh, and they are fun, they are playful, they are everything that interactive sculpture should be, and they are surprising.
Egg-shaped birds, sculpted in high-sheen vivacious colours, Oddooki are eye-catching and engaging. Give an Oddooki a little push, it will roll from side to side, making a gentle chiming noise as it does. Oddooki have endured in each of our minds since we found them that day, and they remain some of the most interesting and innovative sculpture that we have seen. Definitely, sculpture for enjoyment and access by all ages. So, it was with great excitement that PJD and Occasionally Travelled last week checked out some new Oddooki, on show in Auckland at the Gus Fischer Gallery.
Even though (sadly!) I couldn’t be there, the Oddooki pair that they discovered – baby-bird and a mother or father bird perhaps? – are still entertaining even when only seen in photo format.
Don’t you agree? If you do, you might enjoy to check out the artist’s blog here, where more of his works can be seen, including possibly our favourite Oddooki yet: check out the orange and black guy, so, so cool. As you can see from the photo below, this is art that brings and spreads happiness.
Since mid-2011, Seung Yul Oh has been living in New York as a recipient of a Harriet Friedlander Residency (some videos are here if you would like to see him speaking about his work). We can hardly think of a cooler place to be inspired as an artist, and we are excited to see what Seung Yul Oh creates next. He’s also recently installed a public commission in Newmarket in Auckland, livening up an otherwise rather soulless section of city with some humourous and intriguing sculpture that we will show you on foldedcranes.com sometime soon. As for what this inspiring artist does next, well, we’d certainly be happy to see some more Oddooki land in a town near us soon.
Photo of Oddooki at Te Papa from the Te Papa website. Sketch of Oddooki by Seung Yul Oh, from the Te Papa website. Photos of Oddooki at the Gus Fischer Gallery, University of Auckland, by PJD and my Mum, a first-time Oddooki enjoyer, 30 November 2012.