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JH

Seung Yul Oh’s Dominion Rd Sculpture

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Seung Yul Oh's OnDo, outside Ballantyne Square. Photo: Patrick Reynolds Seung Yul Oh's OnDo, outside Ballantyne Square. Photo: Patrick Reynolds Seung Yul Oh's OnDo, outside Ballantyne Square. Photo: Patrick Reynolds

The orange fencing, the four sided ADA WALL structure is shrewdly ambiguous. It serves an obvious purpose, protecting the work from myopic or drunken pedestrians, but also alluding to the plethora of Council roadworks going on around Auckland City. Better than the more ubiquitous - but less effective - garish cones, this use of plastic protection as 'sculpture proper' is a nice way of the Council acknowledging the inconvenience it causes, and (perhaps a little nervously) gently laughing with us.

Auckland Public Art

Auckland

 

Seung Yul Oh
OnDo

 

Presented for a few months only

Located on the footpath that borders Ballantyne Square Park - on the corner of Dominion Rd and Ewington Ave - this temporary public sculpture by Seung Yul Oh is pretty striking; due to its height (about fifteen feet) and bright orange safety barrier.

It shows a clump of light grey noodles being plucked out the pavement, held aloft with chopsticks wielded by an invisible giant hand. Piled up around the emerging vertical stem of parallel noodles (they might also represent communication cables) are pieces of piled up, shattered footpath, chunks of crushed tarmac. Penned in within their colourful enclosure, they create a sense of violence, as if the cluster of flexible tubes has suddenly been yanked out of the now eviscerated Macadam.

Located in Dominion Rd, with so many Chinese and Korean food outlets in the vicinity, this work will surely bring a smile to many a passerby. Close up, the grey ‘noodles’ are made of thin spongy tubing with wire cable inside, the outer shell being of a soft polystyrene-like material that is quite brittle. The hovering chopsticks themselves seem to be hollow, made of cast plastic.

The orange fencing, the four sided ADA WALL structure, is shrewdly ambiguous. It serves an obvious purpose, protecting the work from myopic or drunken pedestrians, but also alluding to the plethora of Council roadworks going on around Auckland City. Better than the more ubiquitous - but less effective - garish cones, this use of plastic protection as ‘sculpture proper’ is a nice way of the Council acknowledging the inconvenience it causes, and (perhaps a little nervously) gently laughing with us.

The chopsticks and noodles are also loaded with multiple interpretations, in the sense they could from a distance be a poised soft-haired brush used for ink, a horse-haired fly-whisk, or perhaps even a cascading waterfall plummeting out of a hole in the air. Outside such creative associations, the work brings a nod to the eating habits of the locals, and a wonderful touch of Surrealism to busy Dominion Road; indeed a calculated strangeness - a method of contemplating the unseen hungry giant, her borborygmi drowned out by the traffic, frantically smashing up the pavement.

John Hurrell

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