Goh Looking Up

Wed, Sep 18, 2019

Maria Walsh

Maria Walsh - Guest Services Coordinator

GLOW Artist Highlight: HongSeok Ko

It’s safe to say you’ve never encountered an artist like HongSeok Ko (Mr. Goh). Constructing ambitious, imaginative installations out of balloons, his artwork is out-of-this-world. He builds fantastical creations that burst open ideas of what’s possible and are a delight to behold.

Not only that, Mr. Goh is almost completely blind.

Goh Looking Up

With a degenerative eye condition that affects the optic nerves, Mr. Goh began to lose his eyesight at 19. Considering how to make a living for himself despite his progressing blindness, Mr. Goh began twisting balloons. A self-taught artist, Mr. Goh has now exhibited his artwork internationally, across the Asia-Pacific region and more recently at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Mr. Goh now brings his art to Santa Cruz through a generous grant issued by the South Korean government.

Goh W Dragon

“To me, air is like a building material.”

HongSeok Ko

From Seoul, South Korea, Mr. Goh is known for grand, detailed balloon sculptures that sometimes reach 20 feet in height. With his team of artists who help bring his visions to life, Mr. Goh will be designing a special installation for the MAH. His piece, “Blue Sky,” will debut at the MAH’s 8th GLOW Festival on Saturday, October 12th, 2019. Crafted for the MAH’s open atrium and stairwell, two immersive sculptures will transform the museum, filling it with colorful, twisting balloons. Without giving too much away, we can say that “Blue Sky” will touch on themes of similarity, difference, and the harmony of diversity. Oh, and will feature a massive, soaring unicorn.

Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime site-specific exhibition from this unique artist. While GLOW is always an over-the-top visual spectacle, we can guarantee that with the addition of Mr. Goh’s balloon sculptures, you won’t believe your eyes.


Mr. Goh’s installation will be on display at the MAH from October 12th - 31st, 2019.


See more of Mr. Goh’s work at www.go-art.co.kr