| EXHIBITION HALL |

SUNAH CHOI

"Banco"

​Mixed media installations

06.03. - 31.05.2020

Curated by Malin Barth

 

Sunah Choi artworks at Kunsthall 3,14 are abstractions of power structures originating from architectural imagery. Her installation consists of modular steel components, translucent monochrome color slide projections. Her artistic interest lays within probing the substance and formal structure of objects. Through a method of subtractions and re-composition, her observations are translated into these geometric grid sculptures made of powder-coated steel and colored light projections. Choi has recently made a shift from exploring the aesthetic quality of selected aspects of vernacular architectural elements to focus on architecture as symbols of strength and continued economic prosperity.   

 

Choi seems to be drawn to the specificity of places. For Kunsthall 3,14 she has incorporated the fact that the institution is located in a former Norges Bank building. The work she has produced accord bank as an idea and money as a zeitgeist. If we look at the work, are our emotions, our perception and our behavior around money encrypted or decoded?

 

Money as a phenomenon through banking is here being told trough architectural history.

The banking architecture is still speaking adequately of wealth and power, and of the bank´s economic power to literally buy any location in the heart of any mercantile city. The building housing 3,14 is a prime example of this. This building demonstrates wealth, strength and power. It is more demanding to enter this former bank building than it is to enter less intimidating buildings our lives revolve around.

 

How we construct and understand the world becomes imbedded in the architecture of its time.

When choosing to look at architecture in this way it becomes a language of its own, and if you can decode you learn about cultural and social practices. Possession of power and the nature of its power revile it selves, and that is often the point. Power wants to demonstrate what they are all about. We can become conscious of power structures just by looking at the physical symbol it produces in its architecture. 

 

One definition of architecture is based on the enclosure. If a person can go inside a structure, then it is considered architecture. This definition is interesting to keep in mind when confronted with Sunah´s steel grids where the distinction between inside and outside has significant impact due to these constructed boundaries between the insiders and the outsiders – the have and the have nots. A building is the result of a choice, a specific intent to build something with a purpose. Architecture divides the world into categories, and we are clearly grounded in structured thinking. The banking counter with its steel bars is maybe the strongest image of security and hierarchies in this context. A physical base from where ideas are being formed, a clear embodiment of structure. We are still orbiting around the banking industry today and the longer the ‘bank-centrism’ is the dominant cosmology—the more difficult it will be to switch to an economical system of sustainability.

Opening speech by Cecilie Andersson. She received her Master in Architecture from Bergen School of Architecture. Worked as an architect at HLM Arkitektur and at Helen & Hard on various projects related to building, transformation and planning. PhD in urban planning at NTNU on Migrant Positioning in transforming urban ambiences, exploring the situation in urban villages and the city of Guangzhou, China. She is currently rector at Bergen School of Architecture.

Sunah Choi, Åse Løvgren and Stine Gonsholt present at the opening.

Vaagsallmennigen 12, 5014 Bergen, Norway