MOAMOA is the first survey exhibition of Korean-New Zealand artist Seung Yul Oh. MOAMOA is a Korean term meaning ‘gather gather’ or ‘gather together’. The show gathers the diverse facets of Oh’s practice, which is characterised by nervous energy—controlled chaos and cacophony. Nothing is ever allowed to sit still or be quiet.
The show includes sculpture, installation, painting, video, and performance. The work reaches from Oh’s days as a student at Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in the early 2000s to new works commissioned especially for the show. All the work reveals Oh’s improvisational approach towards forms, materials, and the spaces and situations into which he inserts his work. One of his large inflatable sculptures is shoved between and swallows two columns in the Gallery, another floats in the void between the ground and first floors. New installations, Periphery and Sphere Square, are environments to be walked through and clamoured over, to be experienced from the inside out.
At once light hearted and serious, Oh tests relationships between audiences and artworks, artworks and spaces. His work blurs the boundary between spectacle and participation, between passive and active engagement. Darker meanings often lurk behind the apparent child’s play.