Luca Curci talks with Ban:Ban during FUTURE LANDSCAPES, second appointment of SENSES ART FAIR 2023, at ITSLIQUID Monti – Rome Art Space.
“Ban:ban” is the artist’s nickname. It has two different meanings in the Korean language. First, it means that something or someone is beautiful and luminous. The other meaning is half and half. The half-art sculpture half-lighting that “ban:ban” creates is both beautiful and useful.
Stones and wood slowly grow, maintaining the energy of the earth, and flaunting the beauty of Mother Nature. Light and dark is one of the Ying and Yang element that makes us understand the circle of life. “ban:ban” tries to mimic and reprocess nature and life, to create its metaverse through a new perspective. Mineral clay is an important medium that creates the base of the sculpture. Adding recycled oyster shell fragments into the clay increases the hardness of the clay and gives unexpected texture to the body. Natural crystal stones, collected from all around the world, and preserved plants decorate the work with the energy of the earth. The colour-changing light, beaming through the crystals creates a meditative and surreal atmosphere that makes the viewer pause from reality and daze and meditate in a whole new way.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
BanBan – I am creating irregularly shaped sculptural lighting that could be displayed on a table or bookshelf. On my recent trip to Rome, I carefully observed classic sculptures and how they were displayed. After the visit, I am thinking about creating plinths to display my sculpture.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
BB – I studied fashion design in an art school and have been a fashion designer for a while. During the pandemic, everything seems to be transferring into the digital world and the metaverse so I tried to catch up with the megatrend. The more I chased the trend, I began to appreciate the value of hand-built art, that you can actually touch. Since the beginning of this year, I thought it was about time to create something original of my own.
LC – How is your creative process?
BB – I improvise when I create. I start by mixing recycled oyster shell fragments with mineral clay. Hand build the body shape using the mixed clay. Then choose which crystal stones and preserved flowers to decorate the work. I let it dry and fix spots inside and out. Sometimes I paint over, sometimes not. Apply several layers of varnish then dry again. I build light bulb holders and place the sculpture over the light.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
BB – I create my dream planet. Metaverse, but in real-verse, where you can really touch. I mimic Mother Nature by trying to capture stones and plants growing out of the earth, in more surreal way. I am a color enthusiast and not afraid of using vibrant colors.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
BB – I finally feel like I am being “me”. I do what I love to do and have never been this stressless. Also it is wonderful to go to my studio to work, with my dog every day.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
BB – Yes. The future landscapes were the perfect theme for my work since I believe it is important for artists to imagine the future and even to lead the future.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
BB – Since my pieces were my imaginative landscapes integrated with colour-changing smart lights create a surreal atmosphere.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
BB – I think it would be experimental to hold an exhibition in a cave-like environment or dark exhibition space. The service of presenting online and at the exhibition opening was very good. Also meeting other artists was a delightful experience.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
BB – It was a great way to meet other current artists in person and to look and hear about their vision.