A close-up look at Soo Sunny Park’s ‘Photo-kinetic Grid’

By Don Wilkinson

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“Photo-kinetic Grid” by artist Soo Sunny Park is a wonder to behold.

Situated in the the UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store Swain Gallery at the intersection of Union and Purchase streets in downtown New Bedford, it is one of the major elements of this summer’s celebration of light, hosted and curated by the Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute (DATMA), the South Coast’s non-profit “museum without walls.”

The theme acknowledges New Bedford’s historical legacy as “the city that lit the world,” a reference to the lamp oil rendered from the blubber of the whaleman’s bounty.

“Lucem Diffundo” is the motto of the city. It translates from the Latin as “I diffuse light.” And one would be hard pressed to find an artist whose work is better suited to exemplify that than Park.

“Photo-kinetic Grid” is a massive undertaking for which Park utilized “boundary materials”- fencing, glass and plexiglass windows, and the existing interior sheetrock walls within the gallery space.

Meticulously constructing a series of forms from welded chain link fencing into which squares of silver plexiglass have been attached with stainless steel wire, she has reconfigured the fencing material from its traditional rigid rectangular being into surfaces that curve and flow with an unexpected organic sensuality.