Paik, Yoonsoo · Ph. D. Philosophy, Majored in Aesthetics
Everyone lives with his/her own constraints. The constraints that we try to solve despite of its difficulty would be stress coming from our relationships with other people. Since we cannot express it verbally, it approaches us more severly than it actually is. In the artist Kim, Hyun-Jung the biggest problems happen from the relations with other people. Accordingly, Kim chooses it as the major subject in her works. From <You move me>, we can see that other people’s thoughts á eyes á attitudes are the strong power that influences this artist. Hiding her own personality first, the artist wants outsiders to have a good feeling toward her, accept her, and further look at her enviously. We can see it in the Faux-Naif series. Through the tablet á cartoon á remote control á cellular phone, the artist secures various information and has a topic of a common interest with others. Through it, Kim makes them understand that she is not different from others. And by the medium of it, she tries to show her inner image via conversation with them.
This process is premised on consideration and acceptance for others, and Kim clearly reveals her volition that she accepts it but her own fundamental principle will never be made way. This principle is confirmed from the baesi daenggi (Korean traditional ribbon) on the head in <Emptiness(Heritage of the Mind)>: unlike other depiction, perspective is not applied and it is stood out as if to make it stand in front. It reveals her self-consciousness that her inner image is not always harmonious with her external appearance, and such a situation of disharmony between the two can be guessed from the title Faux-Naif(Feign). Kim is concerned with the fact that despite these efforts, her true communication with others might not be done, which is suggested by setting up a situation that the playstation wire is unconnected in <Familiar but Unfamiliar>.
The things to which we can refer for guessing her inner image, are small ordinary things introduced in works such as <Hidden Story>, <One O’clock (1:00 AM)>, <Shaking>, <Emptiness
(Heritage of the Mind)>, etc. By depicting the subjects that ordinary people like and use all the time such as the toys played when she was young (hobbyhorse, rag doll, thimble doll, toy bat, etc.), ordinary goods (sunglasses, hairdryer, shoes etc.), animals (elephant, hippo, zebra, and crocodile), Kim is emphasizing that her hidden thoughts and desires are not different from those of most other people. But in <Emptiness (Heritage of the Mind)>, it suggests that all of these are the “Emptiness” in Buddhism and worldly values cannot be given, showing various shoes. It also suggests that the shoes as its subject have a short life.
We can confirm through <Immersion> that the things she has revealed are the result after careful consideration for much of the time, not just thinking. Especially in <Immersion>, by interestingly capturing the big toe that unconsciously moves by the autonomic nerve the moment she immerses herself into something, Kim shows that this whole thing has reached from conscious stage to unconscious one. In order to express its inner image not done by her intention, she is setting up the underwear in Hanbok dress (Korean traditional clothes) like <Familiar but Unfamiliar> or <You move me>. And as seen from <Moderation> and <Oops>, it becomes more and more exposed for the bare skin in the dress. Through it, she metaphorically expresses her inner image unseen in everyday life. For this reason, we come to feel her truth and also we are touched. But the reason why Kim doesn’t reveal the rest of the skin seems to reflect the meaning of Siron (classical Chinese essay on poetry) that emphasizes poetic suggestiveness: 言有 盡而意無窮(eonyujiniuimugung) whose meaning is that word has finished but is full of suggestion. That is, we can see the deep meaning of this artist that stimulates our imagination.
As we often experience, that’s the way the cookie crumbles in this world. Due to unexpected errors, something we never expected happens or it causes misunderstanding. Because of this, we are opening up opportunities in creating stress. Nonetheless, we feel human attraction and a sense of kinship, and share a feeling of solidarity between people who learn by trial and error. In addition, from a different point of view, such errors might be positively necessary in our daily lives. And we need both breadth of mind and wit that errors make us turn the misfortune to our advantage. This process is seen in <Oops>, and we would be embarrassed if our shoe suddenly came off while we were walking with our hands full of shopping bags. More interestingly, in case the switch of a portable gas range is off but it is faintly lit, it may be common mistakes while being absorbed in drawing a picture. Through her extemporaneous ability that it has changed as the title Oops, we come to feel Kim’s peace of mind that she accepts a moment’s error and resolves it with humor.
However, the efforts that we pay careful attention to setting up relationships with others and maintain smoothly, make us tired and tiresome all the time. Accordingly, rather than always pursuing it, we need to have free time for relaxing our body and soul, with empty of ideas. In <Vacancy>, the artist fully shows such state that our mind goes blank and further, we don’t even want to think about anything, yet we are non-drowsy and indulge in a distraction.
Kim mostly adopts the development of themes without background, and this method is traditional one that is typically introduced in <Pungsokhwacheop (Custom Sketchbook)> by Hong-Do Kim, which effectively presents both beauty of blank and subject. And there are various poses in the subject’s face looking towards the right side or the left side, downwards or upwards, which shows her confidence in using a paintbrush. Also, both the flowing lines and the skillful use of Indian ink and thin coloring show that she aims for the stage of Yupilyumuk (the use of a paintbrush and expression of Indian ink) by HyeongHo. Depicting such subjects largely depends on her power of observation that captures the familiar process we always experience in our daily life, which plays a very proper role in conveying truth to the viewers. Especially by interestingly revealing subjects without exaggeration, she shows the strong suggestion that there is something in the picture, beyond merely and beautifully depicting.
Looking at the paintings in thisexhibition, we can clearly notice that Kim enjoys drawing pictures. In the Analects of Confucius, Confucius says“Knowing is not better than liking, liking is not better than enjoying.” It is expected that the artist will sublimate her stage into enjoying pictures.
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