Jorge Pardo, “Bulgogi” Installation View (2010) All images via Gagosian Gallery
“Bulgogi,” a solo exhibition featuring artist Jorge Pardo, is currently on view at Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills. The show’s title is derived from the name of a traditional Korean dish which translates as “fire meat.” Given the strong Korean presence in Los Angeles, Pardo uses this title as a metaphor for the cultural assimilation of Korean immigrants in this Californian city. The exhibition includes a variety of mixed media pieces, and features a range of objects including furniture, jewelry, and scrapbook images transformed into wallpaper.
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The wallpaper consists of photographs of local Korean-Americans framed by floral cut-outs. The medium refers to a previous Pardo work, in which a wallpaper installation was used to trace the social history of Los Angeles. Here the wallpaper figures into a larger installation which is presented as a Drawing Room.
The Drawing Room consists of patterned rug, designed by Pardo, as well as the photo-collage wallpaper. This recreation of a domestic environment speaks to the artist’s penchant for combining all aspects of art, architecture, and design into his installations. Pardo considers himself to be a sculptor, and as such, his works have a specific relationship to the spaces they occupy.
The jewelry cabinets are of particular interest within the broader theme of the exhibition. Pardo constructed the cabinets and filled them with necklaces, rings, and bracelets made of materials like wood, plastic, diamonds, and pearls. Like the wallpaper, this is an adaptation of an earlier Pardo work. In “Bulgogi,” the cabinets placed in a gallery setting signify the assimilation of the Korean population in Los Angeles.
Jorge Pardo was born in Cuba in 1963. He attended the University of Illinois, Chicago and received his BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions, Pardo has created architectural projects for both galleries and non-traditional art spaces, including cafes and museum restaurants. He also participated in the installation of the pre-Columbian collection at LACMA. The artist currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
– S. Zabrodski