Graduated from Slade School of Fine Art

Selected by Cat Newton-Groves


Chongwoon Choi very cleverly points us in the direction of obvious observation with this piece by stating, as many of us have been told repeatedly, 'This is hot'.

Discreetly displayed, on a wall where you would imagine a radiator to be placed, this small copper pipe sculpture matches the message with the choice of plumbing material used to fabricate it. Using this simple message 'THIS IS HOT' (2006) invites you totouch the work and experience the sensation of these three small, but very important words. These simple everyday messages are passed to us in less visual forms, for example, when crossing a road. On approaching the road and in the moments prior to crossing, you draw (not visually) on the words retold to you as a child which were'.... look left, look right and right again' this we know was to avoid being knocked down. With 'THIS IS HOT' the message and warning Choi wants you to believe is visually displayed- but is it? I say this only because I was left wondering whether the words were telling me the truth and the only way I could believe what I was looking at, in this instance, was to touch it and of course when no one was looking I did!

'THIS IS HOT' is a simple well crafted piece of work with a message.

Choi's film piece, 'A cup of tea' (2006) was simple in idea but showed how theatre could be made from an everyday activity such as taking tea. I say 'taking tea' as the viewer never witnesses the tea being consumed. The visual implications of looking at the cup of tea on the screen, makes you think that the inevitable consumption is going to be the ending. This however is denied to the viewer by the way this short film has been shot.

Firstly the distance shot of the inviting cup of black tea in its white cup and saucer followed by the close up shot of black swirling liquid. Shortly following on from this with another distance shot where a hand is introduced which gently grips the cups handle to enable the cup to be lifted. This lift is suggestive in its gesture to make the viewer believe that the tea will eventually be sipped - very inviting! But this belief is halted by a simple shot which focuses on the cup being replaced to the saucer and from which the whole process begins once more.

For me a simple and considerately executed piece for the subject matter, but I'm left with the thought of what Choi will do next?

(Cat Newton-Groves, 2006)