Gallery Hyundai is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Minjung Kim, Paper, Ink and Fire: After the Process, from 1st September to 8th October 2017. For almost thirty years, Kim has been developing a body of creative works that employ Hanji, the Korean mulberry paper, and ink, as well as fire.
Minjung Kim has been exploring the artistic movements of the East and West, using black ink to draw lines or create spontaneous strokes, and repeatedly pastes the layers of Hanji paper which she delicately burns with incense sticks and candles. The use of Hanji and fire as a medium and the subtle, repetitive handwork add depth to her work with a formal richness and unsuspected poetic variations. The careful choice of materials, delicate and controlled burning, and a patient collage of thin Hanji paper — every element in the work of Minjung Kim reflects concentration and contemplation. The repetitious and reflective process is an important part of her work, which leads to meditation and healing.
This solo exhibition, an inaugural show with Minjung Kim at Gallery Hyundai, comprises approximately thirty representative works, including: Pieno di Vuoto(Full of emptiness) (2008) which metaphorically reveals the cyclical relationship between filling and emptying through the layers of colorful Hanji paper burnt in holes that are gradually covered by bigger holes; Story and the series of The Street which create a poetic rhythm by pasting carefully burnt Hanji pieces in layers; the recent work Insight that provides a musical impression through the unique nature of Hanji and rhythmical arrangements of subtle differences in colors between the front and back side of Hanji; and Phasing series of which lively and spontaneous brush strokes overlapped by delicately controlled burning gives an ambivalent impression.
The recent works from the artist’s ongoing series Phasing combine the ink strokes, complex paper layering and burning that maps the ink tasks revealed through the previous layer of paper. The calligraphic gesture appears on the first sheet of paper, and the next overlaid layer of paper shows burning that match the ink marking. The superimposition of the two reveals both the work of the hand and the nature of the paper, which also provide a continual chronological cycle between the materials and techniques—the paper comes from the tree which supplies the burnt wood for the making of the black ink—and symbolize layers of time.
Born in Gwangju, Korea, Minjung Kim (b. 1962) studied bachelor and master of art at Hongik University in Seoul. In 1991, she left Korea for Italy to study at the Brera Academy of Fine Art, and stayed in Italy to develop her work after graduation. Minjung Kim currently lives and works in New York, USA and St. Paul-de-Vence, France. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions and museums worldwide including: Macro (Museo arte contemporanea di Roma), Rome, Italy (2012); OCI Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2015); and Hermès Foundation, Singapore (2017). Kim particularly has gained a remarkable attention at the exhibition ‘The Light, The Shade, The Depth’ held in Palazzo Caboto during the Venice Biennale in 2015, and three of her works are currently exhibited as a selected Korean collection at the British Museum.