Sang Won Sung : Turning Doll Parts Into Art

Artist Sang Won Sung deconstructs everyday objects, especially plastic doll parts, and recombines them into strange sculptures. But his process is a wonderful bit of nostalgia, making me recall how, in my pre-adolescent days, I would disassemble G.I. Joe figures to interchange their body parts. Far from bearing resemblance to the mutant toy creations of Sid Phillips, the destructive neighbor kid in Toy Story, Sang’s works are more kitsch in nature.
As promotional material for The Winter Show at Art Beatus Gallery circulates, with his works included in the group exhibition, I can’t help but recall Sang’s oeuvre. And my thoughts fondly turn towards the first exposure I had to his creations:

The Hybrid + Something Series

This trio of sculptures contain the same gleeful joy in all of Sang’s work, albeit in a more rough-hewn form than his modern output, though there’s an even greater humor found in these three forms. Stemming from an artist known for transforming ordinary, everyday objects into special, unique objets d’art, the Hybrid + Something pieces were manufactured by How2work in 2008.
Contemplate that statement and the depth of the playfulness may become clear. These are limited edition vinyl sculptures made through mass-production techniques that were designed by a man known for reorganizing mass-produced parts into one-of-a-kind works. And Sang didn’t attempt to obfuscate his assemblage style but rather made it overtly obvious. He designed pieces for mass-production that look like his mash-ups of mass-produced parts. An absolutely brilliant choice, Sang made his art come full circle, from toy to art to art toy.

For more information on Sang Won Sung:
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Sang Won Sung’s works are currently part of the The Winter Show group exhibition at the Art Beatus Gallery (808 Nelson St #108, Vancouver, BC V6Z2H2, Canada), which runs through January 20th, 2017.

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