Saturday, August 25, 2007

Giudecca795 Presents Minjung Kim

Giudecca795 Presents Minjung Kim

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Minjung Kim.

VENICE, ITALY.- Giudecca795 is proud to present Minjung Kim on exhibit for the first time in Venice, from August 25 to September 13, 2007. Opening hours: 11am-11pm. (Opening 25 August: midday-midnight). Free adm. Actv (public transport) boat lines number 41, 42, 82 to Palanca. Born in South Korea, when she was very young she began the study of painting with the greatest masters of calligraphy. At 29 she moved to Italy and continued her studies at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, where a knowledge of Western art fostered her artistic consciousness. Her works bear a distinctively Oriental stamp. At times they are painted on white rice paper in black ink, presenting the fluidity of motion. At other times, however, the fine surface of the paper is colored and signed with a flame, producing circular forms of varying sizes. These multicolored circles are then glued to each other in concentric sequences, from smallest to largest, forming wholes that look like delicate flowers. Arranged one beside the other, their polychrome corollas form an abstract texture, suggesting a sort of psychedelic vision with hypnotic effect - as Guido Curto suggests in the catalogue "Vuoto nel Pieno" by Electa.

But.. are they really "flowers"? - "My work has always been a visualization of Zen and Tao" -- the artist says -- In these great philosophies there is the idea of the two opposed principles of void and solid, between which there exists a continuous tension that causes reality to exist. It's a deeply philosophical vision. The two opposed principles change continuously, and this constitutes the essence, the driving force that moves the world. As a painter i have very limited materials, a sheet of paper on which to express this incessant change. What I wanted to achieve is the representation of the essence of chaos, the continuous alternation of the two opposed forces. I burnt part of the sheet, the solid, and so obtained an image that united both the solid and the void. I added another sheet of paper with a hole burnt in the middle and went on like that, superimposing voids and solids. You have to remember that fire is one of the ways of cinrcumventing time. It would take several millennia for the paper to disintegrate: I accelerate this log-term mutation. I call this superimposition of burnt sheets "Void in Fullness". Flowers have nothing to do with it, but if you call them flowers or anything else it doesn't trouble me, because the visible world is made up of the truth of all things... I let people say what they like, because in the end it all comes down to the same thing"

The Artist - Born in 1962, from the age of six she studied painting under various teachers, including the famous watercolourist Yeon gyun Kang, and then Oriental calligraphy, so that she could understand the fundamental precepts of Asiatic speculative tradition.

As Giangiorgio Pasqualotto wrote, the peculiarity of Oriental writing "lies in the fact that is able to design not just the structure of each object, but also, and above all, the action, the active power and the efficacy that the object, whether material or conceptual, contains and expounds. This capacity to make visible the activity or efficacy of an objects is in perfect harmony with the way earliest Chinese culture - classical Tao - understood the universe, as it had always considered everything that is real, not as a set of objects, but as an infinite universe of processes: on the basis of this conception of the world, everything, including apparently inert objects, is invested with an active power, an energy that is not secondary to its existence".

This is what we could describe as the oriental "action painting". The study of calligraphy did not just endow Minjung Kim with this vision of the world but also taught her to communicate by means of the extremely controlled use of the brush, which "channels" the energy and directs it onto the paper.

When in 1980 she enrolled in the Hong Ik university in Seoul, Minjung had already received a very thorough artistic education which was completed through the detailed study of Oriental painting under Taejun Ha, Sunam Song and Sukhchang Hong. Once her university course had been completed in 1985, she took a Master's degree at the same university with a thesis on the four basic material in ink painting (rice paper, brush, ink pigment and the pigment grinding stone).

In 1991 she enrolled at the Brera Academy in Milan. The works of Paul Klee and Franz Kline prompted her to approach a new aesthetic direction that look her progressively away from the figurative tradition towards an investigation of the expressive value of marks and maculas, two stylistic elements that combine perfectly with the 'process-based view of the world' and the ability to 'channel the energy', both o which she learned in her study of calligraphy. During her academic studies, she learned the basics of avant-garde concepts and the expressive freedom that typifies the more recent artistic trends.

Her exploration of the interrelationship between Oriental and Western techniques and conceptions continues outside the Academy. In her pictorial work - which she always executes on the floor in keeping with Oriental tradition, because both literally and metaphorically the floor is the basic support for all painting - Minjung tends to use increasingly concentrated watercolours in order to express effectively the intensity the colours contain.

In her works made during 1998 on overlaid layers of paper, she burned sections of them to generate an effect of three-dimensionality, to provide the viewer with a chronological dimension, and to indicate layers of time symbolised by the layers of paper.

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