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New Works from Youn Woo Chaa Weave into Gallery Row

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2008, at 02:55PM
ChaaArt Ed Fuentes

Soulful faces have appeared in the windows at Red Dot, and at first glance the monochrome art appears to be detailed textured line drawings.

On closer look, though, it becomes a different experience. The new work from Youn Woo Chaa is made of dyed rattan reeds, woven tightly together. The result is urban portraits that are weaved through indigenous forms.

Chaa says the art is first sketched and measured before it is woven together, sometimes in varied colored dyes. Working with the fragile natural fibers sometimes takes over 200 hours for the larger pieces.

While this new series uses rattan, Chaa is also experimenting with materials inspired by trips into the Amazon and Mexico, where he met indigenous weavers.

The work itself is really two different exhibitions. From a slight distance one sees expressive faces in photorealistic graphic form. Up close, the pieces instead highlight craftsmanship taught through the ages and used to give weaving a new aesthetic.

"Toward Structure-lessness" runs through February 3 at the Red Dot Gallery & Bistro, with a reception for the artist to be held this Saturday, January 19, from 5pm to 9pm.

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