I’ve always liked mind games. Not the passive aggressive sort, or anything along the lines of “treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen,” but the kind that involves optical illusions, something that forces you to think a little bit. They range from the simple – two vases that are also two faces – to the more intricate such as the never-ending staircase in M. C. Escher’s Ascending and Descending, but Kyung Woo Han has taken it to a whole new level.
The Korean artist constructed a room that seems half-flooded with water, a 3D optical illusion called Green House. Made up of distorted, symmetrical furniture of his own construction, suspended using wire, this installation will make you look twice, and then probably about 20 more times after that. It’s a striking effect, and even more so when you consider how few materials Han used. He described his work to me in a single sentence: “People see what they want to see.” And I believe him, but try as I might I can’t stop seeing the water I know those chairs aren’t floating in.
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