Kwak Chul An

Photographer: Vincent van Gurp


I, as both an active maker and a designer, have a natural tendency to be interested in different materials and in how these materials can be used. This interest has led to a philosophical and theoretical research about the basic logic of ‘creating things’ - how to materialise an ‘idea.’ Greek philosophy offered the critical foundation for the development of Western culture and it still influences people and society today. My interpretation of the material world is a wonderful source for explaining current social phenomena. Plato’s illustration of the materialisation process, which deforms the idea and informs the matter, not only provides us with a very clear way of approaching the material world conceptually, but it also forces us to acknowledge that we are losing the states of empirical awareness between intellectual and material reality. I, therefore, hypothesise that it is possible to create an object that juxtaposes existence and non-existence, by locating it between the intellectual and material state. Inspired ultimately by those contemporary artists, who have tried to remove objectivity to express their ideas, I realised that the in-between state can be communicated more effectively through dematerialisation than materialisation. My solution is to materialise dematerialisation: an object that creates a certain ‘material paradox,’ through making a material and its expression play opposites, become meaningless, and finally to dematerialise the material itself. My aim is to create an object that dematerialises itself through a doubly denied material contradiction, taking the viewers’ vision beyond the material world.

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