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Mark Soo: Is it Any Wonder (1600 Kelvin)

Artspeak Gallery
Vancouver BC – Sept 9-Oct 14

Mark Soo, Monochrome Sunset

Mark Soo, Monochrome Sunset [English Bay - Oppenheimer Park] installation detail (2006), light installation [Artspeak Gallery, Vancouver BC, Sept 9-Oct 14]

Mark Soo is a Vancouver-based artist who works with light and installations. In a new project entitled Monochrome Sunset (English Bay – Oppenheimer Park), he reflects on the relationship between urban experience and the psychological and physiological aspects of light and colour.

To accomplish this, Soo photographed the setting sun over the scenic and popular English Bay at the same colour temperature as the yellow-orange sodium streetlights found in the inner city's drug-infested Oppenheimer Park. While the first image is a tourist bureau’s delight, the particular colour of the latter was chosen for its unique characteristic of disrupting colour perception and thereby discouraging intravenous drug use and crime.

Soo’s installation is intended to foster uneasy dialogues between inside and outside, mainstream and marginal, nature and city by echoing social divisions and highlighting the gallery’s geographic proximity to both locations. (Artspeak is an artist-run centre in the Gastown area of Vancouver.)

Soo’s work, which has been described as “undertaking a humorous post-institutional critique”, has been exhibited in New York, Manchester, Melbourne, Toronto, and Vancouver. Monochrome Sunset was curated by Melanie O'Brian, who also curated Bakwina`tsi: the Container for Souls. It is displayed in conjunction with SWARM, a weekend of artist-run culture in Vancouver on September 8-9, 2006. Soo will give an artist’s talk Saturday, September 10 at 1 pm.


Mia Johnson 

 Sun, Sep 3, 2006