Born in Bejing but raised in Canada, Terence Koh's decadent mixed-media sculptures are an examination of contemporary youth culture. Exploring sexuality, morality and plain absurdism, the artist formally known as "asianpunkboy" pushes the boundaries of both life and art. His formal style has been compared to the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi which celebrates the beauty found in decay and impermanence. Often composed of chocolate, semen, blood, hair or vegetables, his works serve to confront and entertain.
The present work, Untitled (Medusa), 2006 is misleading in its pristine white facade. Standing as a beacon of propriety in the immaculate gallery space, it suddenly opens its doors to reveal the den of iniquity it houses within. Its sterile white exterior is confronted with chalky black rows of phallus-laden religious figurines, limbless idols and one very ominous looking urinal. Untitled (Medusa) exists as a transcendent water closet where sex, death and religion collide.
Like his signature gold-plated chunks of human feces or critically acclaimed room of white powder at the Kunsthalle Zurich at Art Basel in 2006, Untitled (Medusa) simultaneously seduces, frightens and challenges its viewers. As per usual, in the vibrant idiosyncratic universe of Terence Koh accepted cultural practice is turned on its head.
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