For this edition of Sonae//Serralves Commission, the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art presents An Opaque Wind Park in Six Folds by Korean artist Haegue Yang (Seoul, 1971) in the midst of the gardens of the Serralves Park. The newly commissioned work is composed of five partially arched towers, of varying dimensions constructed from brick and connected via a geometric layout of paving stones. Occupying an area of almost 70 square metres, this ambitious sculptural complex invites the viewer to walk around and between the hybrid landscape of its multiplying structures.
Yang’s sculptural approach conventionalizes the layout of Islamic symmetric geometry, notably the form of the hexagon, created by a subdivision of the circle into six equal divisions or folds. Square units of 72 x 72 cm serve as the footprint for the slabs and towers of varying heights and constructed from clay fired bricks in an accumulation of geometric configurations. The three different colour tones of the bricks contribute to the ornamental patterning of the towers and their interconnected facades. Embedded into and through Yang’s built complex are diverse types of plants and vegetation, including succulents, ivies, and grasses that are intended to grow, creep, flower and die over the year of the commissioned work’s presence in the gardens of Serralves.
An Opaque Wind Park in Six Folds eschews monolithic statement for living structure that merges the constructive and aesthetic application of mathematics with the organic cycles and transformations of the natural world. Sensory elements, such as the movement of air and wind that are a feature of Yang’s installations, are present in the aluminum turbine vents that sit atop An Opaque Wind Park. Inspired by the traditional wind towers used in buildings in the Arabian and Persian Gulf, Yang first used these standard construction structures for her installation An Opaque Wind at the 12th Sharjah Biennial in 2015. Integrated into the decorative programme of the towers, they become glittering kinetic elements that serve for the artist as a metaphor for migration and transitory encounters. Their significance within the complex of towers, brick, vegetation and wildlife further reinforces the work as an expression of communities and the inter-relations required for co-existence within a globalized age.
A fully illustrated book that surveys previous outdoor works by Haegue Yang will be launched on 22 October at 5 p.m.
The Sonae//Serralves Commission is curated by Suzanne Cotter, Director, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, assisted by Museum curator Marta Moreira de Almeida.
Image: Haegue Yang, Construction of An Opaque Wind Park in Six Folds, 2016. Photo: Filipe Braga, © Fundação de Serralves, Porto