Hijo Nam, Freedom from Avarice, 2012. Copper wire, dimensions variable.

Hijo Nam

New York

Tenri Gallery

Hijo Nam, a Korean-born artist living in the New York area, recently put on a strong show of sculptures and low reliefs animated by her Buddhist beliefs. Interestingly, much of the integrity of these works stems from their individual orientation, in which the inspiration changes from piece to piece rather than following a path of serial repetition. As a result, each piece feels like it is driven by its own necessity, which results in noticeable variations in form. It isn’t that the works contrast vastly in appearance—many are made with oxidized, rusty steel—but one senses that Nam’s conception for each individual sculpture is a one-off meditation on emptiness, time, and the inherent gravitas of materials. Her work compels us to think—indeed, to meditate—on the innate messages contained in surfaces that appear to have been worn down by time. Nam’s lyrical sensibility finds expression in the use of found materials. In Cylindrical Views (2012), an oxidized steel cylinder, decorated with dark paint, renders the moon, the sea, and other elements taken from nature. …see the entire review in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.