Donghee Koo’s practice involves a process-based dialogue with space and often combines objects, found materials and video as a means of externalising interior impressions. Way of Replay II (off peak) (2017) developed from the artist’s vision of Sharjah before and after her visit. Although the project is most immediately informed by her own experience of navigating the meandering pathways between the buildings of SAF’s Al Mureijah Square, the work also offers insight into a more general sense of disorientation and distortion due to broad adoption of once regionally-specific seasonal customs, the enduring specificity of urban spatial information, and the access to faraway destinations afforded by virtual tools such as Google Earth.
Located inside Bait Gholoum Ibrahim, one of Sharjah’s heritage houses, the installation is grounded in a map of the surrounding buildings that traces an abstract representation of the area’s footprint. The metre-tall, model-like structure spans the breadth of the courtyard and extends into the rooms of the house. A pool of water sits in a concrete structure at the entrance, free-standing staircases overlook a large light box and an overhead ramp hovers from the roof while a collection of ‘snowmen’ covered in sand punctuate the spaces in between. In a far room, a video of the installation space shows overlapping scenes of a snowy urban setting, suggestive of winter in Seoul, and found footage of other places. Conveying a playful sense of exploration, the work distils the perception of different locations and the blending of far-off seasons (time) and geographies (space) within a single enclosure.
This project was part of Sharjah Biennial 13.
Way of Replay II (off peak)