Thursday, April 18, 2013

Here are stains of substances carefully modulated on pure white surfaces for their revelatory indications, washes by recipe allowing a latitude of variation along one axis while retaining numerical limits and control of the other elements. A graph-like evidence emerges, layers of a wordless sign, measurements of specific reactions, or are they calculations of specified emotions. Fragments of a landscape or a specimen each embedded into the surface, each panel a recent fossil of a Now moment, perhaps yours…Now.

Nothing hysterical, no explosions, quite the contrary, targeting perceptions, situations normally overlooked, a laser distillation of small perhaps insignificant occurrences, each panel gathered together one by one, with pauses - breathing spaces, to graph the gentle accumulation of our collective days.

Her own collection of days, 280 days to be exact, in one of Mikyung Kim’s calendar works, is the time it takes to gestate a baby. In another work the span of one lifetime – 80 years. Process has become key – the resin dries fast, its mixture with water based inks changes with humidity, the needs of the palette to be regularly refreshed, the size of tools - straight edged palette knife are circumscribed. The time to think is brief. The process becomes ceremony for the surprises and accidents to be harvested, and later, chose which will be re-possessed to start again anew.

Mikyung landscapes of the mind reinvent a way to see, a path to avoid what has become stale, and what is merely a technological innovation, to bring us closer to what is vital. Aesthetic leadership.

Recognize art -- its central role. Pushing beyond secular notions of art as secondary in a system that monetizes everything under the sun. A new notion of what is nearly – but never acquires the color - ‘sacred’. To perceive what is truly of value – a basis for changing our ways. The current system is not sacrosanct. It can be changed, just as Mikyung Kim has changed.

As a sculptor of installations she explored metaphysical games in public space as they passed imperceptibly into private if not cosmic space. Now the grit and urgency of time creates an elegant validity for perceiving and recognizing what is real, what is remarkable, the pulse of our days as we chose to live them. A language of orderly patience, gentle joys, and engaged surprises.

Support ethical leadership. Power is not the way. Another form of leadership is necessary to move us out of the power arrangements of the post WWII era. If Mikyung Kim’s art can give us a measure of being human, and if man is not the measure of all things, and never was, then all this, has it just been an excuse to continue in disguise the bellicose traditions of nomadic Europe? Infecting all forms of civil life while sanctioning seductions to power?

In the space between cultures, Mikyung Kim, an Asian American artist, see the changes we feel, the miniscule increments that tic by obscurely, see the rippling fusing conjoining before us, this moment, our moment.

Midst the monumental architecture of our ambition, in the interstices of capital, attention for detritus thrives. Content with seeming insignificance, small rituals, unknown observations hum, the oil of our time.

Robert Lee
April 26, 2012
Different Themes
Written by Lovely

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