In ‘The Lost Mystics,’ Kumkum Fernando’s Enigmatic Wanderers Chase Illusions Through Time and Space — Colossal

In The Lost Mystics Kumkum Fernandos Enigmatic Wanderers Chase Illusions | RetinaComics



Art

#found objects
#Kumkum Fernando
#sculpture
#wood

September 28, 2023

Kate Mothes

“Formally Known as Izah,” 950 blocks composed of upcycled wood, hand- and spray-painted wood, scratched coated brass detailing, and recycled nails, 31.5 x 56.2 x 21.5 inches. All images © Kumkum Fernando, courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Projects, shared with permission

In vibrant color, Kumkum Fernando’s hulking, hybrid figures (previously) wander through an enigmatic and quickly evolving world. “The melancholy characters of The Lost Mystics are searching for meaning, crisscrossing time and space, unmoored and chasing illusions,” says a statement from Jonathan Levine Projects, which presents the artist’s solo exhibition during ArtPrize.

Fernando repurposes found wood, nails, and metal details into modular beings, some of which have removable crowns. The artist draws on a wide range of global traditions, from Ethiopian and Sri Lankan masks to American board games to Buddhist and Hindu folktales. Simultaneously robotic and mystical, each character interacts with its surroundings in a unique way. The duo in “Soul Mates,” for example, are said to have traveled 23 million light years to find one another, and in “Which Way Is Home,” the creature turns its three heads in a perpetual search for direction.

The Lost Mystics is on view at the ArtPrize Clubhouse in Grand Rapids, Michigan, through October 1. Explore more on the artist’s website and Instagram.

 

A robotic sculpture featuring hundreds of wooden blocks and recycled nails and brass.

“Which Way is Home,” 1,900 blocks made from upcycled wood, hand- and spray-painted wood, scratched coated brass detailing, and recycled nails, 24 x 56 x 22 inches. Installation includes 3 removable heads that articulate 360 degrees and a base made from an antique coffee table found in the Mekong region of Vietnam

Two robotic sculptures featuring hundreds of wooden blocks and recycled nails and brass.

“Soul Mates,” upcycled wood, hand- and spray-painted wood, scratched coated brass detailing, and recycled nails, 24 x 28.3 x 12.6 inches each, containing 300 blocks

A robotic sculpture featuring hundreds of wooden blocks and recucled nails and brass.

“Voodoo Veera”, 230 blocks made from upcycled wood, hand- and spray-painted wood, scratched coated brass detailing, and recycled nails, 19 x 19 x 10 inches

A robotic sculpture featuring hundreds of wooden blocks and recycled nails and brass.

Details of “Voodoo Veera”

A robotic sculpture featuring hundreds of wooden blocks and recycled nails and brass.

“Baby Devis Board Game,” 650 blocks made of upcycled wood, hand- and spray-painted wood, scratched coated brass detailing and solid brass halo, and recycled nails, 25.6 x 44.2 × 14.5 inches. Installation includes 180 hand-turned pawns

A robotic sculpture featuring hundreds of wooden blocks and recycled nails and brass.

Detail of “Baby Devis Board Game”

A robotic sculpture featuring hundreds of wooden blocks and recycled nails and brass.

“Formally Known as Izah”

A robotic sculpture featuring dozens of wooden blocks and recycled nails and brass.

“Yellow Fellow,” 45 blocks made from upcycled wood with added pigments, scratched solid brass ears, and brass detailing, 22 x 30.5 x 13.2 inches

#found objects
#Kumkum Fernando
#sculpture
#wood

 

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