Born in Taiwan in 1964, Szumin KUO received her Bachelors of Architecture in California Institute of the Arts and later, Masters in the same discipline in Yale, USA. Although Kuo didn’t find much pleasure in her architecture career, she admits the training at school nourished the sense of space and logical thinking which help bringing ideas to artwork. In addition, Le Corbusier and Tadao Ando’s style influenced Kuo’s take on light and shadow as a student, and later results in her abstract form that is usually open-ended.
According to Kuo, her metal sculptures resemble a world to get away from the hustle and bustle that is full of complicated interpersonal relationships. Known for consistent simplicity, Kuo’s works are created through the process that “is similar to writing a poem where precision and concision are required.” Her preferred medium is metal, especially iron and stainless steel. To Kuo, iron is the most vibrant form of metal, as the rust reveals the time and environment the work has been though. Stainless steel, on the other hand, bears a silver color that is closest to colorless. Through rusting, welding, painting and coloring, the artist plays with form as well as texture in which case metal is incorporated with a sense of architecture. Kuo often contrasts the interior and exterior of stainless steel works by applying glossy and matte finish respectively to show reflection of light while manifesting the existence of the artwork. Also, with spray paint, in primary colors in most cases, can be found in iron sculptures to represent emotion, contrast of light and dark and the artist’s longing for freedom.
Made of solid metal yet seem to be able to float, Su’s sculptures are as if they were in outer space. “I’m often attracted to open spaces such as desert and universe where I can free my mind and imagination.” The sculptor invites the audience to explore the ever-changing, illusory space carved out by light and shadows within the created object and to experience the multifacetedness of her work.