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Kenny (Yong-soo) Son, Patinated Twin Brass Water Tower, Brass (Patina finish), Tin.

Kenny (Yong-Soo) Son

Craft Conversations

Anonymous Sculptures is an exhibition of new work by object designer–maker Kenny (Yong-soo) Son, which pays homage to the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher of the same title.

For Kenny, the Becher’s photographic documentation of civic structures, particularly the series of water towers, informs hollowware pieces that function as vases but take their cues from the shape, form, and textures of these stoic constructions.Kenny’s precise application of his craft and preference for geometric forms lends itself to the subject matter, while the cold machine aesthetic of his inspiration is transmuted by the maker’s hand into something of warmth and immediate beauty.

Presented by Modern Times, Kenny’s exhibition Anonymous Sculptures is part of Craft Victoria’s Craft Contemporary satellite program.

What was your favourite part of formulating your exhibition Anonymous Sculptures, now on as part of Craft Contemporary?

An exciting element was the putting together of different forms, shapes and colours towards the last few steps in creating each work. You never really know what it is going to end up looking like until the very last moment. The form and design can be foreseen with the modelling process, however the texture and colour for the patination can sometimes be quite different and unpredictable. This makes or breaks the hard work you have put in fabricating the work. When the combinations work, it’s a fantastic feeling.

What is your favourite material to work with and why?

It has to be metal. Non-ferrous (brass, nickel silver or copper) and precious (silver) to be precious. They are materials that I know best. Unlike certain materials, each and every metal has its own characteristics. They all react in a slightly different manner as each has its own laws and rules.

Metal is something you have to understand (well) and be patient with, often with no shortcuts. As I have come to understand the materiality and characteristics of metal, it has since been my primary material of choice.

What is an influence that has inspired and changed the original trajectory of your creative practice?

My everyday surroundings and the objects that I encounter in these environments often play as an inspiration to my creations. Since early adulthood, I have come to truly appreciate my daily rituals and the objects that I interact with. I have come to understand the potential joy and value that objects can hold.

When creating work I consider what an object provides for the user, and how it produces aesthetic, emotional and functional value.

The value we give to an object adds an element of longevity and meaning which transcends beyond an object’s functional purpose. This consideration continues to shapes my practice and the work I create.

Kenny Son 1
Photography Youmee Jeon
Kenny Son 2
Photography Youmee Jeon