BY AMELIA GROOM
Ingeniously transforming humble everyday materials like paper, polystyrene, plastic drinking straws, metal bins, a mop stick, a duster and even MSG, Koji Ryui sees new possibilities in the common items of everyday life.
Continuing his exploration of transformation, his current exhibition So Long incorporates many of the deft sleights of hand seen before from the young Sydney artist, who converts found, non-heroic materials into elegant, intricate, often creature-like sculptural forms.
The main room at Sarah Cottier Gallery holds his clinical-looking installation Dr Mona Lisa’s Factory, consisting of beanbags made from cheap heavy-duty clear plastic sheets around a collection of sculptures on top of metal bins – such as Nuclear Explosion, a mushroom cloud made from MSG.
Along the wall are a series of mirrors that have been cut to the exact proportions of the Mona Lisa portrait, and then smashed with a hammer. Exploring notions of portraiture and attempting creation through destruction, Koji counterbalanced the ‘7 years bad luck’ that comes from breaking mirrors, with found and fabricated lucky charms that are also part of the installation.
In the back room is an older work, Nocturnal Emissions, a small-scale textured white world of cigarette filters, paper streamers, cotton buds, bristles of a duster, a balloon, marshmallows, double sided tape, paper serviettes, chewing gum and nylon rope.
Drawing on apocalyptic ideas, So Long is a disquieting lament for the end of something, yet also proposes a new way of looking at things and an alternate, synthetic rebuilding of the world around us as we know it.
So Long by Koji Ryui
Until June 14
Sarah Cottier Gallery
3 Neild Avenue, Paddington
93563305 or www.sarahcottiergallery.com