Gidon Bing is an Auckland-based sculptor working with traditional processes and materials to produce modern works of art. His practice often features deceptively simple, reductionist forms, free of superfluous ornamentation.
Bing’s practice is time-consuming and painstaking, committed to works that are modern in the truest sense of the term: timeless and invulnerable to the redundancies of contemporary fashion. There is no room – nor need – for that which is functionally or aesthetically redundant, no retention of conceptual or skeuomorphic contrivance. Instead he coaxes from honest materials, their own exquisite forms, stripped back to their essence and exactingly executed, designed and made for aesthetic and material longevity. The resulting work expresses an intimacy with materials, as well as the power and presence of reductive forms and the universality and perfection of simple, balanced, asymmetric geometry.
This approach, focusing on design simplicity and purpose is in part influenced by his exposure to the cultural and intellectual milieu of the European avant-garde via his family and architect grandfather. Many of these ideas have become the foundation for our conception of ‘modernism’. The idea of – ‘ornament as crime’ – not so much a call to negate but rather to strip away superficial ornamentation to reveal form, space and materials.
Though university-educated, much of Bing’s past and ongoing learning derive from apprentice-like environments, less rarified than the academy. Bing’s mentoring and exposure to practitioners and proponents of various modernist movements have been particularly formative. Aspects of his work are also informed by a fascination with the relationship between biological asymmetry and the artefact, influenced in part by an academic background in Archaeology/primitivism.
Bing has traveled extensively, in Central Europe and Asia to learn the arts of mould-making, carving, ceramics, carpentry and print making. His approach to learning emulates the master-pupil relationships of a past era, when skills were attained by watching the masters’ hands.
Gidon Bing’s work is sold and collected worldwide and has featured in Selfridges of London, Milan's Salone del Mobile, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and a small selection of private galleries.