Dirty South Korea

What exactly does it mean when one discovers the severed head of a giant, garlanded Buddha resting on a sand patch in the middle of a Wynwood gallery? Is this some kind of ancient Far East spiritual riddle? Nope. It’s just the centerpiece of “10 Years” at Charest-Weinberg Gallery, the debut Miami exhibition by artist SunTek Chung. Like all of Chung’s work, the Buddha sculpture is a satirical art joke, riffing on cultural clichés, entrenched pop genres, and the ideological distance between East and West. It’s an arty modus operandi most famously displayed in Chung’s staged photo series starring himself. Here he’s a ninja at rest, reading a romance novel. There he’s a suburban lawn warrior attacking his rice paddies. Now he’s a hog-riding redneck from South Korea. Go see “10 Years” before it closes May 22.
Sat., May 15, 11 a.m., 2010

 
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