Magic Straw. In modern arts, the material has greater significance than any other times. As modern arts can be expressed as the war against materials, the material is important in modern arts. In particular, the materials in the cubic work in which the property of the matter is emphasized play more special roles. Thus, it is natural for the material itself to become the artistic work. From this perspective, the works of Sang-Sik Hong built with straws are very interesting. It seems to be insufficient for the material as it is easily bent and delivers very little sense of mass. Then, why should the material be the straw? To this question of his material choice, Sang-Sik Hong answered simply by saying "if you rub a section of the noodle, the noodle pushed out of the other side makes all kinds of shape through the undulations. This childhood play was the beginning of my work". However, the material 'straw' chosen from his childhood play shows noticeable characteristics in his works.
First, the plenty of straws cumulated to shape a figure create a space image in the opposite side segmented as an infinite circle by being penetrated visually through the empty structure, Furthermore, since each of the segmented spaces contained in the straw hole embraces its own space like the camera lens, thousands of spaces are accumulated in his work. Beyond the general definition that the cube is the art of space, his work consists of the assembled individual spaces. This is the result of combining the perfect understanding of the characteristics of the material chosen by the artist and curiosity stemming from the childhood play, which is the attractive visual entertainment.
Second, a circle-shaped visual point is formed at the place on the surface where the eyes reaches. This point is linked not only to the shadow more highlighted than other surface but also to the penetrating background to display the background color as it is spread out. This interesting phenomenon seen like aurora or moire creates a pleasant visual effect to change the location as the spectators change their location to watch it. This phenomenon makes the spectators naturally change their location, which creates an interesting scene in which the spectators move and walk around the work. The fact that the basic material 'straw' suggests the possibility that it can induce more efficient interactions between the spectators and the work than the media arts using electronic sensors allows us to invest Sang-Sik Hong with the icon of 'straw'.
If there is only form of immersion into the material without contents, it will not be sufficient enough. If there are contents without form, it will be insufficient as well. The aspects of form and material were reviewed in the above. Thus, the question is raised naturally out of the curiosity regarding whether the contents are well balanced with them. We may watch only the surface of the straws cumulated plainly on the white, even and low-relief surface of the work. The images built as if they show the contour lines with the subtle undulations by the white or single colored straws are revealing the figures sometimes clearly or secretively depending on the view point. The representative images include the lips, chair, high-heel, woman in nude and flower. All of these may be the representative symbols of desire. Thus, they are unconscious intention and interest of the artist even though they are all unintentional.
Connecting the symbolized images such as chair, female's genital looking flower, lips and body to the symbolic meanings (power and sex) will reveal clearly that his interest is focused on the desires.