Torch Gallery is pleased to invite you to the first European solo exhibition of the Korean born, US-based artist, Min Kim (1975) –a unique chance to get acquainted with the work of an artist who is emerging as one of the most inspiring figurative drawers of her generation.
In her review of Min Kim’s latest solo show in the US, Holland Cotter writes for the New York Times: “[…] a nude prepubescent girl with huge eyes [lies] alone on the ground, looking sleepy, even stupefied, as small plants sprout from her body. Across the room, in a big, elaborate collage made of the interwoven forms of cutout trees and clouds, she appears again, revived and alert, flying through the air on the back of a bird, as if on a quest.” Each of Min Kim’s dream-like drawings constitutes an invitation to endlessly wonder at its evocative power and technical perfection. Both narrative and poetic, they sweep us along the artist’s imaginary Eden –a fantasy garden in which Orient meets Occident in encounters at times dramatic and most often playfully melancholic. The refreshing visual vocabulary of the young Korean artist might stem from this seamless combination of influences—Manga aesthetics and 1970s psychedelic visions of Surrealist tradition being perhaps the most prominent. And, just as her motifs and imagery blend diverse cultural tropes into a seamless whole, her technique also relies on the alliance of diverse means of expressions. In the mode of collage-like compositions, her work harmonize a variety of drawing techniques and styles while also borrowing their amenity from a plenitude of exquisite details contrasted with large colored areas. In terms of both content and form, the work of Min Kim might as well be compared to that of the art of blending in its camouflage-wise understanding. Far from embodying a characteristic post-modernist eclecticism and obsession for quoting the past, Min Kim’s work capitalizes on different visual traditions and seems to dramatize the question of mimicry as mode of interaction between different cultures, realms of existence (the human, the vegetal, the animal) and artistic styles. All at once child, animal, plant, heaven and soil, Min Kim’s hybrid beings seem to lend themselves to becoming the tree, the leave, the bird and the paper itself on which they lay. Arising or disappearing from the background, they constitute attractive fragmentary visions that speak about the process of identity formation as a matter of constant becoming –being at once Other and the Same.