Sun You’s Melodramatic Soul Crushing Saturday Morning opening at Ditch Projects

January 2024

On view Jan 13 – Feb 11

Opening reception
Saturday, January 13th, 5-7pm

Thoughts and intents on Melodramatic Soul Crushing Saturday Morning, a solo exhibition at Ditch Projects by Sun You

I have been thinking about size in art. Often in galleries and exhibition spaces, size holds significance. To establish oneself as a serious artist, it sometimes seems necessary to create large-scale, expensively fabricated works. Many galleries now boast museum-sized spaces, with attendant expectations of large scale objects. Even art not intended for sale, such as installation art, often seeks to command and fill vast expanses.

In my work, I prioritize flexibility and lightness. My work does not demand fixed production sites; it can be easily packed and spontaneously created within the spaces and materials at hand. I produce art that accommodates life, avoiding excess size. I aim for a modest sublime without extreme transformation.

For this exhibition, Melodramatic Soul Crushing Saturday Morning, I chose to go small, dotting the gallery with small polymer clay sculptures that leave ample room for viewers to wander and explore. At first glance, the exhibition may appear almost empty, but this is an invitation: to look more closely, to engage with the works one on one, to have an experience that is both intimate and deliberate.

The sculptures are the result of simple manipulations: clay is pulled, cut, scattered, flattened with a rolling pin, re-cut, and rearranged into new forms, all using familiar domestic tools like a cake knife and Parchment paper. These sculptures are then baked in batches in my home oven.

Sun You is a Seoul born, New York based artist. You has exhibited her work in galleries and museums internationally. Selected exhibition venues include Geary, New York, The Pit, Los Angelis, Korean Cultural Center, New York, Queens Museum, New York, The Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Scotty Enterprise, Berlin, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, and The Suburban, Chicago.

You was an artist in residence at Hunter College, Ace Hotel, Marble House Project, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Triangle Arts Association, Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral and the Sharpe and Walentas Studio Program. She is one of three recipients of the Korean Art Foundation, AHL Contemporary Visual Art Award 2022.

You’s work has been featured in many publications including Artforum, The Brooklyn Rail, BOMB Magazine, Hyperallergic, Korea Times, Modern Painters and Widewalls.

You’s artist book, ‘please enjoy!’ was published by Small Editions and acquired by the Whitney Museum Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University and New York Public Library. You’s first public art project with New York City is scheduled to be unveiled in the Bronx in 2024.

You heads President Clinton Projects, a curatorial project and co-runs a non-profit gallery, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, New York. She is also a co-founder and core-member of An/other New York, a collective of Asian and Asian American visual artists, writers and curators.