This Canine Construction by South Korean artist Gimhongsok is one that anyone would fall in love with, coupled with the enigmatic quality it has. This work is the sculpture of a dog and remains one of the artist’s most well-known works in recent times. The creation involved using garbage bags, balloons, and cardboard boxes, all assembled with expensive materials like resin.
What inspired this work?
Gimhongsok’s work is inspired by his fascination and interest in the accidental creativity of mistranslation and cultural translation. The artist frequently makes references to significant artworks by famous international artists in his own works.
His practice encompasses painting, sculpture, video, and performance, with Subsidiary Construction, an ongoing project initiated in 2008, delves into the political dimensions of how forms and materials are perceived, while also challenging established notions of ethics.
The Canine Construction is very similar to Jeff Koon’s sculpture, the Balloon Dog 1. However, the Balloon Dog comes with sleek, aerodynamic curves, a peppy stance and anodized hues, which are noticeably absent in the Canine Construction. It comes made with garbage bags in a rather dull color of black, starkly contrasting with the sleek, colorful, and iconic appearance of Koons’ sculpture.
The piece is quite playful, even down to its name. It is called the Canine Construction in English, but the Korean translation is “a form like a dog”. This is funny because like a dog is more of an insult or curse. Overall, the Canine Construction is one artwork that the audience can see and like at once because of its broad appeal, which is because it is striking to the eyes and quite open in its interpretation.
One of [the] issues (…) is translation. “Modernization in Korea’s history was a kind of translation of that from Western countries. I think even translation can be autonomous and original.
The idea behind it
A haphazard binding is used to form the tail with an easy-carry tie, and it is joined to the head to make the ears. The work looks real and actually makes an audience feel like a real dog, which is one quality Jeff Koon’s Balloon Dog lacks.
Although the sculpture looks a lot like the Balloon Dog and this is where artistic originality may be called for questioning, the use of resin in casting the garbage bags is where the originality lies. The idea behind using the garbage bag is the fact that garbage is collectively dumped by the public.
Hence, the artwork, which is made using garbage bags, is a collaborative work that includes the public, reflecting the artist’s belief in embracing spontaneity and chance and underscoring the piece’s significance as a symbol of true social agreement.