Now available at her Immersiva arts region, is Bryn Oh’s latest presentation Mythical Creatures, which is will have an official opening on Sunday, July 19th, 2020.
Perhaps the best way to describe this collection of 21 pieces is as a series of art collectibles, in that they come with a unique property, which I’ll get to shortly.
This was a fun project where I researched 20 legendary, mythical or creatures of folklore from around the world and re-imagined them. Some are well known such as the Dragon or Phoenix, but then there are more obscure ones like the Nariphon or the horrifying Manananngal.
– Bryn Oh on Mythical Creatures
Each creature is presented as a 3D sculpture on a plinth bearing a brief description of the creature’s form. More detailed descriptions of the creatures and their histories, drawn from multiple sources, hang from the ceiling of the hall behind each of the sculptures. As Bryn notes, some of the creatures are very well known; others may ring bells without necessarily being something we’re actually deeply familiar with, whilst others are liable to be entirely new to us. For me, examples of the latter two would be the Baba Yaga – something I’d heard of, but not actually researched, and the Tatzelwurm, a creature I’d never heard of.
As well as the Russian Baba Yaga and Swiss Tatzelwurm mentioned above, the collection comprises: from Greek / Roman mythologies Capricorn, Cerberus, the griffin, Medusa, and the phoenix; from Japanese mythology: Jorōgumo, Kitsune and Ōmukade; from multiple folklores and mythologies: the dragon and the mermaid; together with the banshee (Irish mythology), the ettin, the kraken (Scandinavian), La Sayona (from Venezuela), the manananggal (Philippines), the nariphon (Buddhist legend), the Canadian Ogopogo, and the Chinese qilin.
And in case you’re wondering why I reference 21 pieces, but only list 20 creatures, that’s because there is a bonus item in the collection, the Bryn Oh.
Bryn Oh is a pale white moth girl born on the Internet. She has curved glowing horns, cyberpunk interface plugs, wings or a neko tail. She is queen of the moths and creates stories and worlds with hidden meaning inside. She has magic and when threatened she can deform her enemies or launch them high in the air. She is drawn to music but often lurks on the outside listening and never dancing. Other creatures find her strange an melancholy.
– the description of the “Bryn Oh”
What is special about these creature is the manner in which they have been created in two parts: “left” and “right” as you look at each of them. Gacha machines within the exhibition halls allow visitors to obtain a random “left” or “right” half of a creature. Any “left” part of a creature can be combined with any “right” part of another creature to create an entirely new one. The clever part here is that whichever combination of to parts is put together, the descriptive text on the two plinth halves will always seamlessly combine to offer a description of the new creature.
Thus, it is possible to creature any of the original creatures in the exhibition by collecting all of the different halves – with up to 441 combinations of creature to be created. Further, to help in the joining process, the individual halves have been scripted so that when placed together, they will correctly align and join.
Another interesting aspect of these creatures is the sources Bryn has drawn upon to creature their “mini biographies” hanging in the exhibition halls, and the manner in which set portrays some of them. With Medusa, for example, the focus is very much on her violation at the hands of Posidon – and for which Athena unfairly punished the young and beautiful girl, turning her into the monster with whom we are more familiar.
As noted, Mythical Creatures officially opens on Sunday, July 19th, 2020, with a special event starting at 15:00 SLT. Skye Galaxy will be providing the music, supported by Semiiina. And when visiting, keep an eye open for Bryn’s flying machines that have appeared in her own mythologies and her floating / falling bricks that have also featured in her past work, and both of which – together with the design of the exhibition hall, very much hook Mythical Creatures into her universe.
- Mythical Creatures (Immersiva, rated Moderate) – follow the arrows on arrival.