Korean artist Minjung Kim conveys remarkable intricacy in her artforms. Kim often paints, singes and layers rice paper to fortify hazy landscapes which echo streams of light. Alternatively, she tightly winds and twists the paper to create abstract patterns which team with energy and possess a materiality of their own. Luxembourg & Dayan presents The Light, The Shade, The Depth, a survey of Kim’s works over the years at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. The show has been created under the tactile curatorship of German-born art historian Jean-Christophe Ammann.
Kim combines her aptitude for traditional oriental crafts like watercolour and calligraphy with an informed grasp of Western abstract expressionism, which she honed while completing her studies in Milan. The Light, The Shade, The Depth identifies three distinct bodies of the artist’s work: panoramic landscapes of mountainous land glimmering through layers of semi ink-painted and elaborately singed paper; complex structures which utilise principles of order and disorder to create robust patterns; and landscapes which absorb blue and red brush strokes to transform calm and tranquil scenes into chaos and unrest at the artist’s discretion. This is thanks to years of calligraphic training, which curator Ammann describes as “the dance of the dervishes” .
The aritst’s landscapes reflect an Eastern understanding of the world as an infinite universe of processes rather than objects. Kim’s artistic prowess lies in her strength of poise, sense of temperance and the energy this channels into her work. Time, so evidently expended by the artist in the creation of these otherworldly pieces is another theme which informs her aesthetic.
The Light, The Shade, The Depth until 27 September, Luxembourg & Dayan at the Venice Biennale.
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1. Minjung Kim, Grey Snow, 2009. Mixed media on mulberry Hanji paper. Copyright of the artist.