The Idea of Perfection is Artificial (2019)


Recent Possibilities at Collab Fab Fabrication & Innovation Lab, Brooklyn, NY

In my previous project Invisible Sculptures, although people were presented with the same invisible sculpture, each of them had (slightly or largely) different shapes in their mind. I found it so liberating to see all different representations people made with clay after experiencing the same sculpture.

When I admit that there’s no absolute answer, my mind opens up and my heart beats faster! On that note, what is being “perfect”? Is perfection a real thing? I update codes, edit writings, and polish surfaces over and over again—to the point where I forget what I’m doing—just to get close to the unknown pinnacle, perfection.

Perfection, on the other hand, means that all other possibilities have been closed. When something becomes perfect, it’s not alive anymore and instead is dead in a way.

The image of perfection to me is the opposite of nature or any organic matter. The idea of perfection could be just another human invention; an artificial thing. A cold machine made of steel with great precision. A clear glass cube with pitch-perfect right angle edges. A perfect sphere.

Or, tofu. A spotless piece of tofu fresh out of its container. Whichever direction you slice in, the tofu will smile at you exposing the exact same white surface. The texture is so smooth and consistent that it can be seen as that of a white acrylic cube. And... it’s protein that tastes just perfect (to me at least)!

As an attempt to communicate these thoughts on perfection, I put together this piece. The tofu is floating in half gallon of clear oil contained in a plastic bag, sitting on an illuminated surface. The perfection (tofu) deteriorates very slowly over time. Tiny crumbs falling apart from the tofu are caught in the middle of the still, thick liquid. The tofu sits until it loses it shape, while the moments of decay are witnessed by the audience.

Yeseul Song