Gidon Bing: Built Environment
The organic and timber artistry of New Zealand’s Gidon Bing
Auckland-based Gidon Bing fuses elements of art and design to
produce an aesthetically minimalist and textural range of free form
sculptures, paintings and maquette design models.
Bing says his preclusion for “organic” materials and a fascination
with wood; he has a preference for using plywood, is partly the product
of growing up in rural New Zealand which he also attributes to his
sense of colour and materiality.
“At the most basic level…my understanding of structure and form was
greatly influenced by the New Zealand landscape as well as an exposure
(to) and appreciation for Maori and pacific art forms,” he says.
It could be said that a childhood introduction to a diversity of
cultures has been the catalyst for Bing’s personal creative evolution;
his grandfather was Czech architect Henry Kulka, a student and protégé
of Czech Avant Garde architect and polemicist Adolf Loos; his mother’s
interests are in architecture and Japonisme, his art historian father
collects primitive artifacts and at 16, the sculptor and artist spent
six-months in the Israeli village of Ein Hod.
This early exposure to the ideas and sensibilities of the European
Avant Garde and Modernist movements as well as New Zealand’s Modernist
forerunners proved to be a significant formative influence for Bing.
“I have a great appreciation for many of the pioneers of New
Zealand Modernism such as Gordon Walters and his geometric prints,
Milan Mrkusich’s reductionist abstractions and Len Lye’s primitivist
prints and kinetic sculpture,” Bing says.
It is this appreciation for modernism that appears to have a
collective following in the form of avid collectors and consumers as
the New Zealand sculptor and artist increasingly garners acclaim and
In 2008 French champagne house Veuve Clicquot commissioned Bing to
produce a range of outdoor sculptures for the New Zealand launch of
their rosé; his architectural models were used as part of Resene
Paint’s promotional campaign and collaboration with fashion designer
Karen Walker while large-scale metal sculpture commissions and a
children’s furniture range are also in the pipeline.
A profile of Bing can be found in the current Issue 05 of Habitus magazine.
Image above: Nick Bowers