Thaw (Takaki Masao)
fiberglass, acrylic paint, black crystal and glass beads on nickel-chrome wire
93 × 212 × 113 cm
Collection: Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg / Paris
Photo Courtesy: the artist and Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, paris
Photo: Patrick Gries

At first the work appears to be a half-transparent, iceberg-like sculpture, but when you approach you notice a human form sculpted in ice inside. As the title suggests, this is Park Chung-hee, the man who established a military dictatorship in South Korea and who served as its president until he was assassinated in 1979 (Takaki Masao was his Japanese name). President Park, who gradually transformed from an idealistic socialist to a political dictator, still casts a dark shadow in the memories of many South Koreans, and the transparent image of his person in this work might be a symbol of that shared memory.