Yeong Gill Kim
Asian American Arts Centre presents..
YEONG GILL KIM
July 11 - August 1 2008
Fri, July 11, 2008, 5:30pm - 8:00pm
Yeong Gill Kim is a Korean artist who creates paintings depending on accidental effects of unplanned way of working process. He first does spontaneous rough drawing in black acrylic on large canvas using thick brushes. When the basic drawing is about 70% dried, he puts the canvas into the bathtub and washes it. When it is dried, the technique leaves dimly visible traces with the exquisite variations on a empty ground of refined gray tones. And then he adds quick brush strokes which resemble calligraphy and abstract figures in misty landscapes. The artist maintains a strong interest in Zen thought, and his quick and swift working process reminds of the spontaneity of Zen art in which a momentary record of internal mind states is emphasized.
Yeong Gill Kim saw the transition in Korea from a feudal society to a modern country and the confusion it brought to the people. By 1995 he had given up purely contemporary idioms and returned to materials and ideas that had inspired so much of Korea's artistic tradition. Inflected by modernity in the uniformity of the color of the strokes, by the washed surface, his gesture to contemporary times is there, and to that extent, to the West. Living between New York and Seoul, the complexity of his brush work on muslin has attained a breathtaking clarity and simplicity. Yeong reminds us of William Ivins book Prints and Visual Communications, pointing the way to a vision de-rationalized.
Yeong Gill Kim demonstrates that contemporary art in America need not be founded on the historical experience of the West, nor on claims of a new age of global technology and democratic opportunity. He shows that a crisis of identity, a seemingly unbridge-able gap born of two irreconcilable cultures, can be-spanned with a renewed confidence in the vitality of one's Asian traditions. Kim brings innovations to his indigenous traditions with a soft spoken simplicity that disarms.
DIRECTIONS to the Asian American Arts Centre:
N, R, Q, W & #6 Train to Canal St | #4 & #5 Train to City Hall | M103 or M15 bus to Chatham Square.
One block south of Canal St. On the 3rd floor, above McDonalds.