Manchester Art Gallery

Deodorant Type: Sculptures by Gwon Osang

The first major UK exhibition for Korean contemporary artist Gwon Osang.

Manchester Art Gallery
Saturday 21 June 2008–Sunday 21 September 2008


Deodorant Type featured 14 sculptures by the artist including a number of new works commissioned by Manchester Art Gallery for the show.

Gwon Osang makes extraordinary life-size sculptures of people. He uses hundreds of photographic images to build up the surface appearance of his models, including the face, their hair and their clothes. Gwon’s skills as sculptor and photographer combine to make beautifully crafted figures with both photo-realist and surreal qualities.

As a starting point for the exhibition, Manchester Art Gallery invited Gwon to the city for a month-long residency in 2007. He spent his time in Manchester researching people and places that would act as inspiration for future works.

Gwon’s first new work resulting from this residency was a sculpture of the musician Graham Massey – best known as a member of Manchester’s electronic pioneers 808 State. This work was exhibited in the entrance hall of the gallery together with an existing work Control. These works were commissioned for Asia Triennial Manchester 2008 and remained on display until 21 September that year.

A further five new works by Gwon were displayed in this exhibition, including a life-size sculpture of a Greater Manchester Mounted Police Officer complete with working horse measuring 17 hands.

Speaking about this new work, Gwon commented:

During my stay in Manchester, it was interesting to watch the mounted police officer on patrol every morning. I felt a sense of closeness because it was an animal, but also, its large figure made me feel somewhat intimidated. In many cases I am influenced by ancient arts, and I think this particular interest was partly due to my association with the horsemen of monumental sculptures. So I invited the mounted police officer to be a model for my solo exhibition, and as I expected, he gladly agreed.

Other works appearing in the exhibition included sculptures of Manchester artists, musicians and a number of Korean works created between 2006 and 2008.

Gwon’s models are often depicted in unusual poses. He is interested in exploring how the human figure can express different meanings in different contexts, through their gestures and expressions. His work is also heavily influenced by contemporary advertisements, and a fascination with the way they reflect modern-day life.

Gwon Osang is based in Korea and represented by Arario Gallery, Korea. He has previously exhibited work in China, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan and The Netherlands. Deodorant Type: Sculptures by Gwon Osang was his first major UK exhibition and was accompanied by a new publication.

Gwon Osang on flickr

Visit our flickr pages to see photographs of Gwon Osang photographing his models and drawings from his sketchbooks.

Artist biography

Gwon Osang
Born 1974 in Seoul Korea
Lives and works in Seoul Korea

B.F.A. Hong-Ik University, College of Art, Sculpture Department, Seoul, Korea
M.F.A. Graduate studies in Sculpture, Hong-Ik University, Seoul, Korea

Selected solo exhibitions (* indicates catalogue published)
2008  *Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK
2007  *ARARIO BEIJING, Beijing, China
2006   Gwon, Osang, Union II (Opening show), London, UK
*The Sculpture, ARARIO Gallery, Cheonan, Korea
2005   Deodorant Type & The Flat, Andrew Shire Gallery & 4-F Gallery, L.A, U.S.A
2001   *Deodorant Type, Insa Art space, The Korea Culture& Arts foundation, Seoul, Korea

Selected group exhibitions (* indicates catalogue published)

Youth Portraits, Avanthay Contemporary, Zurich, Switzerland
*Peppermint Candy: Contemporary Art of Korea, The National Museum of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina
*Asia Triennial Manchester 08, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK
Global EurAsia Special Exhibition, ART COLOGNE, Cologne, Germany  2007   *Contemporary Korean Art : Wonderland, National Art of Museum China, Beijing, China
*Peppermint Candy: Contemporary Art of Korea, MAC (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo), Santiago, Chile
*Urban Reviews Seoul: Space, People, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen(ifa), Stuttgart & Berlin, Germany

Give Me Shelter, Union Gallery, London, UK

*Beautiful Cynicism, Arario Beijing, Beijing, China
*Seoul; Until Now, Charlottenborg Udstillingbygning, Copenhagen, Denmark
Post IMF, ArtArk Gallery, Shanghai, China

*Young Artists from Korea, China and Japan, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
*Officina Asia, Galleria d’arte moderna, Bologna, Italy
*UNUSUAL COMBINATION, Plus Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
*Real Reality, Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea
*Out the Window, The Japan Foundation Asia Center, Tokyo, Japan

, Gallery VU, Paris, France
*Facing Korea-ID, FOAM( Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam), Netherland
*Mobile, Alternative Space Care Of, Milano, Italy

*ORIENT-EXTREME, Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, France
*Area of Photograph, Museum of Art Saitama, Saitama, Japan
*Area of Photograph, Sendai mediatheque, Sendai, Japan
*Mirror of daily, Pusan Metropolitan Museum of art, Busan, Korea

*Silence of the city, Gwangju ART Museum, Gwangju, Korea
Alchemy, Sungkok Museum, Seoul, Korea
*Family, Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

*Disturbance Exhibition, Boda Gallery, Seoul, Korea (Selected two person’s exhibition)
*Join & Expression, Youngeun Museum, Kwangju, Korea
* Expression of the Times – eye & hand, Seoul Arts Center, Korea
*Error Interchange, Soungkok Museum, Seoul, Korea
*Ji-Rok-Wi-Ma, Seonam Museum, Seoul, Korea

*Hoboo-Hohyung, Art Sonje Center, Seoul, Korea
*Transition of the Century, Sungkok Museum, Seoul, Korea.
Vacuum-packed Exhibition, Alternative Space in the Loop, Seoul, Korea