Euclidean Space

Curated by Nina Horisaki-Christens

Entering Anna So Young Han's colorful installations is like stepping directly into an Op Art painting: colors bleed off the canvas, onto the wall and across the room; lines extend between apparently discreet paintings in mind-bendingly unexpected ways. Just as Op Art seeks to explore the interaction between the illusion of space and the picture plane, Han's work explores the relationship between the reality and illusion of dimensionality. Sitting between the two- and three-dimensional, her installations play with our perceptions of form, light, translucency, reflection, and their representations on a two-dimensional surface.

The clean lines of her forms in contrast to the delicacy of her gradations and the subtle surface shifts - from reflective to matte to opalescent - contribute to an appearance of layering and illusionistic space in her two-dimensional renderings. This, in turn, gives an architectural sense to the painted surfaces that both contradicts and re-contextualizes one's understanding of the actual architectural elements Han's installations create or off of which they play. Despite the clean-cut lines of her imagery as architecture melds into three-dimensional geometric abstractions, which lead into two-dimensional paintings, any sense of clearly delineated dimensionality is shattered.

Instability is at the heart of this installation: not only is our perception of dimensional space problematised, but the very idea of place is drawn into question. The elements of Han's abstractions are originally drawn from maps: dashed lines, solid lines, dots, stripes, gradients and fields of color. Decontextualized and rearranged, they become meaningless and yet she still arranges them so as to lead us from point to point, just as a map functions. Taken in conjunction with apparent depiction of nameless, severely abstracted architectures in certain works, her installation gives the impression of indicating an any-place that actually exists nowhere. The dislocation of Han's work evokes a sense of restlessness that feels particularly timely as the dematerialization of our society - due to phenomena such as speculative stock markets, the shift from manufacturing to service industries, the proliferation of time-based media in art, or the increasing reliance on the internet for social interaction - hits a critical mass.