Untitled (Valle d´Aosta) I-IV, 2011

Un´Espressione Geografica, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, 2011

Untitled (Valle d´Aosta)

The four frames that compose Sunah Choi´s work slowly emerge from the white wall. The first element that jumps out at visitors is a set of colored ropes that celebrate the artist´s experience of visiting Valle d´Aosta. With it´s discreet appearance, Untitled (Valle d´Aosta) explores the mechanisms that influence and determine the relationship of human beings with the reality that surrounds them. The interest for the perception of inhabited spaces is a key element in Choi´s art research. In her works, the artist elegantly appropriates the linguistic structure of various artistic traditions, from Europe to the Middle and the Far East, deconstructing and recombining their systems. If the idea of space in European culture implies the notion of measurement, in her works Choi contradicts the apparent reliability of this view, thereby questioning its validity.
The work Untitled (Valle d´Aosta) originates in the inevitable relationship between the inhabitants of Valle d´Aosta and the Alpine environment they live in. The simple geometric structures of the white-varnished metal frames is inspired by the orthogonal schemes that define the irregular façades of the region´s houses. Choi juxtaposes the discontinuity of the mountain chain and the obstinate orthogonal details that can be observed on many façades in the city of Aosta. For Choi, an apparently insignificant, inconspicuous detail can turn into a reading key to examine the ways in which a population tries to negotiate its relationship with the surrounding landscape. Abstracting this grids from the houses of Aosta, and reproducing them as the supporting structure of her work, Choi underlines both the eloquence of details and the visual and conceptual potential inherent in every process of abstraction. A series of climbing ropes are tied to the four metal structures with snap-hooks. Used both in solo and group climbing, the ropes evokes the human being´s necessity to come to terms with the natural limits set by the mountain barrier.
For Choi mountain climbing becomes a metaphor, symbolizing a reaction to the sense of importance caused by the sheer size of the mountains. Stretched on the frame profiles, or left to fall free by the force of gravity, these ropes enter a dialogue with the geometric patterns selected by the artist during the trip. Untitled (Valle d´Aosta) therefore registers the indissoluble tie between the natural and social reality of Valle d´Aosta, and the different attitudes this relationship has generated.

The text about the work Untitled (Valle d´Aosta) was written
for the catalogue of the exhibition "Un´Espressione Geografica"
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, 2011
Mousse Publishing, ISBN 978-88-96501-22-1