‘Externalisations of the Mind’
Mon 14 – Sun 27 May 2012
At first glance Chinwook Kim’s works appear as semi-abstract landscapes filled with life and nature. Works that are soft in palette and intricate with organic forms, reminiscent of detailed Japanese woodblock prints in which the figures inhabit a narrow foreground space and are defined only by simple ink outlines filled with flat areas of colour or textile patterns.
However there is a sense of uneasiness and eeriness to the twisting forms that impose on each other, layer after layer, which reveal a far more complex and sober nature of what lies beneath and behind the tightly bound, gnarled forms. Only rarely is shading employed, and then it is confined to depictions of blurring the distinction between the detail and what appears to be black holes, spaces void of information or recall.
Kim is an accomplished draughtsman; the works are drawn with dense hatching to create tonality, yet some of the most beautiful works in the series have black spots or areas that are drowned in shading, creating a haze where detail struggles to emerge. These works tell us about the mind of the artist; the surfaces are so dense with detail that the images feel airtight and dense. Spidery calligraphic lines create organic shapes that feel as through they are in perpetual motion, while washes, drips and glimpses of colour suggest second thoughts and erasures. Over a piece of white paper his horde of creeping forms are influenced by the mastery of medium and imagination of Heironymous Bosch, or the consummate delicacy and refinement of Aubrey Beardsley.
Chinwook Kim’s works unfold as his conscious and subconscious state of mind does. His works are the externalisations of his mind.
Born in 1972 in Korea, Chimwook Kim undertook his undergraduate Bachelor of Fine Arts in Seoul, before relocating to Europe and completing a second Bachelor of Fine Arts followed by his Masters in Germany, then after relocating to the UK he completed a further Masters of Fine Arts. His works have featured in numerous group exhibitions in the UK and Switzerland.