Artist: Yeri Hwang
Exhibition: “Within Us”
Media: Kinetic Sculpture
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist:
Yeri Hwang is a senior at CSULB who is studying to complete her BA in Studio Art. This is her final semester here, and “Within Us” is her first exhibit. She likes to dabble in all forms of art, including sculpture and animation. She came to CSULB intending to work with animation, but wanted to broaden her horizons. Thus, she switched to studio art. Yeri likes to work with sculptures, electronics, drawing; a little of everthing, she says. She knew she wanted an interactive exhibit because she knew the journey of life is something everyone could relate to.
Yeri’s exhibit first stood out to me because of the darkness seen through the door. The lights were off in the gallery, which helped put the focus on her strategically lit art. Entering the exhibit, a sign asks the viewer to please view the pieces in order. This held my attention and I stayed in the exhibit for a long time. Each piece had handwritten instructions asking you to gently push a button or move a gear or write a thought. Each piece was meant to symbolize the importance of life and our path through it. One piece that captured my interest was a light that shone through multicolored gears. The instructions asked us to move the switched to guide the light to a place of our choosing. I overheard a girl ahead of me say she thought it looked like birds were flying over the top. I moved the switch around until I saw what looked like an eyeball.
Yeri liked the idea behind her exhibit because it was inclusive, as art should be. She says we all have stories; we are all writers, and we can all relate to the meaning of her exhibit. This is also why she chose the title “Within Us”. She spoke about one of the pieces in the exhibit, a curtain-framed window with a sculpture of a house. A remote sat at the table in front of the window with a button that released fog. Yeri related the fog as a mystery in our lives. The house represented our final destination as humans, or the goal we are trying to accomplish in order to be happy with ourselves. The fog comes into play by representing how we will never reach that place because there will always be a new destination. When we finish one goal, we will have another one to look forward to.
I thoroughly enjoyed Yuri’s exhibit from start to finish because you could tell it was very well thought out. Yuri did not seem anxious about her art at all, even considering many people would be touching and moving it. While I was in there, the sword she had set to light up had been removed accidentally. Yuri was not angry at all, and simply put the sword back together, reassuring the person who had removed it that the piece was fine. She was very calm, which made the experience even better. Though there were many people inside when I first went in, I felt I was able to take my time at each stop and enjoy it at my own pace. The final piece was titled Acceptance and Forgiveness. A painting covered by a veil was propped on an altar. Candles and broken mirrors lay around it. It asked us to forgive ourselves and move forward. We were able to write down what we wanted to forgive and place it on the altar. It was nice to see how many notes were folded up and left.