Minjung Kim, Interchange, 2020, Ink on mulberry Hanji paper, 70 x 100 cm

Minjung Kim »Repetición«

Mexico City, February 24, 2024 - April 03, 2024

The way is a void,
Used but never filled
An abyss it is,
Like an ancestor
From which all things come

Tao Té Ching
Lao Tzu

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This exhibition brings together works by Korean artist Minjung Kim, who explores the connection between hand gestures, the body, repetition, and the mind, through the use of watercolor, ink, and the principles of calligraphy.

Time and mental states play a leading role in Minjung Kim's creative process. Hours, days, or weeks may pass for the artist to achieve the ideal space of solitude and calm in which she seeks a certain mental and emotional rest—similar to the Taoist philosophy—the mental and emotional rest that culminates in the creation of her works. The graphic gestures in her work are the result of a synchronization between breath, body, hand, tool and stroke, principles explored by traditional calligraphy, learned by Minjung Kim during her first years of artistic training.

The artist chooses materials that, given their nature, allow her to explore and alter their states. In most of her works, Minjung Kim uses hanji traditional Korean paper, handmade and produced from the inner bark of the mulberry—a tree native to Korea called dak that grows in the rocky mountains. For Kim, the use of paper is a dialogue and a synchronization between body and matter. Always aware of her own physiognomy—its scale, strength and delicacy—, Kim manipulates and modifies the hanji paper, a material that can be easily destroyed while being a strong and long-lasting material.

In her creative process, Minjung Kim groups and glues layers of hanji paper, which can then be torn or burned, allowing us to see the network of paper fibers that make up her pieces. This process is similar to minimalist musical techniques, in which a sound is reproduced several times at different speeds, generating other modes of listening. This emphasizes her interest in translating sound into a visual language. Likewise, the alteration reduces disintegration processes to a matter of seconds that, without this type of intervention, could take decades or even centuries.

Some of Minjung Kim's works are grouped into series that remain open. In them, Kim explores ideas that had their origin in some particular works and that, over time, constitute long-term series. Such is the case of Timeless, a series that has its origins in contemplating and listening to water, the sea and, therefore, the tide. For Kim, this observation reveals that the flow of water never stops: it comes and goes, like an eternal phenomenon. The concept of time in the tide also finds an echo in the breathing of the artist, who, oriented in meditation practices, must reach a rhythm unified with that of her body.

Repetición is Minjung Kim's first exhibition in Latin America. The series of works shown here explore, through forms, processes, and colors, the way in which the mind connects with the hand and the brush, and how breathing becomes one with the rhythm of drawing and the body. Minjung Kim's work disseminates traditions that allow us to understand a complex creative process where time, body, balance and drawing—concepts of traditional calligraphy and Eastern philosophies—deserve to be observed as works of art from a contemporary perspective, and compared with the notion of what we currently understand by time.

Minjung Kim was born in South Korea in 1962. She lives and works in both New York and Saint-Paul-de Vence, France. She has exhibited her work in various international museums and galleries, such as Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey, USA (2020); Langen Foundation, Neuss, Germany (2019); Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, Korea (2018); Musée des Arts Asiatiques, Nice, France (2017); Hermès Foundation, Singapore (2017); OCI Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2015); Palazzo Caboto, Venice, Italy (2015); Oko, New York, USA (2014); Studio d'Arte Raffaelli, Trento, Italy (2014); MACRO (Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma), Rome, Italy (2012); The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK (2008); Guanshanyue Art Museum, Shenzhen, China (2007); Fondazione Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, Italy (2006); Museo Comunale d’Arte Moderna Ascona, Ascona, Switzerland (2003).
Her work is part of several international collections, such as: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; Tate Modern and the British Museum, London, United Kingdom; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea; Helga de Alvear Foundation, Cáceres, Spain; Swiss Re Art Collection, Zurich, Switzerland; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, New York, USA; Asia Society Museum, New York, USA; Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey, USA; Fondazione Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, Italy; OCI Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea; and UniCredit Art Collection, Milan, Italy.