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MINGJUNG KIM

 

http://www.minjung-kim.com

 

Minjung Kim (b. 1962) is a contemporary Korean artist best known for her ink paintings by theirtransparency as well as her subtle formal compositions on layered paper. Committed to reinterpreting traditional Korean aesthetics, Kim employs a process-based organization of her thoughts, problems, and whims in each of her artworks. Through the repetitive work of burning and layering mulberry Hanji paper, she conveys the process of emotional healing and meditation. Often colorful and staccato, the artist describes her calligraphic work in emotional terms: “The movement, the colors, they are so calm and peaceful. They are my state of mind,” she says. Born in 1962 in Gwangju, Republic of Korea, Kim was encouraged by her family to pursue her artistic inclination from an early age, studying under various teachers including famed watercolorist Yeongyun Kang, and between the ages of thirteen and twenty-nine, Oriental calligraphy. This latter study allowed her to understand the fundamental precepts of Asiatic speculative tradition. As Jean-Christophe Ammann describes in his essay, “Oriental (figurative) thought differs markedly from that of the West. If Western art traditionally has always been subject to major changes and sudden breakthroughs, that of the East gives the priority to the constant. The constant bears within it changed perception and its forms of expression without continuity being lost.” (J. C. Ammann, The Light, The Shade, The Depth, 2015). The study of calligraphy did not just endow Minjung with this vision of the world but also taught her to communicate by means of the extremely controlled use of

the brush, which “channels” the energy and directs it onto the paper.

When in 1980 she enrolled in the Hongik University in Seoul, Minjung had already received a very thorough artistic education which was completed through the detailed study of Oriental painting.

 

Once her university course had been completed in 1985, she took a Master’s degree at the same university with a thesis on the four basic materials in ink painting (mulberry Hanji paper, brush, ink pigment and the pigment grinding stone).

 

Out of her curiosity about the Italian art which led Renaissance, she decided to move to Milan, Italy and later graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Art in 1991. Here she studied less the basics of European painting, which she had already tackled at university in Korea, than the analysis of the works of Western artists who, during the 20th century, studied Oriental painting. In particular, certain works by Paul Klee and Franz Kline prompted her to approach a new aesthetic direction that took her progressively away from the figurative tradition of her country of origin towards an investigation of the expressive value of marks and maculas, two stylistic elements that combine perfectly with the “process-based view of the world” and the ability to “channel the energy”, both of which she learned in her study of calligraphy. “Unlike the concept in Korea, there is no distinction between Eastern and Western art. It is more of a matter of differences in materials.” The reason why Kim has chosen mulberry Hanji paper is that it is the best material which she could handle. She began with expressing the musical rhythm through ink, and later went beyond hand-drawing, committing herself to the natural lines created by candle light or incense burn.

 

Her exploration of the interrelationship between Oriental and Western techniques and conceptions continues outside the Academy. She always executes her pictorial work on the floor, in keeping with Oriental tradition, because both literally and metaphorically the ground is the basic support for

all painting. In her works, since 1998 on overlaid layers of paper, she burnt sections of them to generate an effect of three-dimensionality, to provide the viewer with a chronological dimension, and to indicate layers of time symbolized by the layers of paper. She gives quivering condition that is created by the burnt edges, and that reveals the form as they flourish, change, are overshadowed and then re-emerge from the background, immersed in those resounding spaces

that embraces, contains and connects them all.

This is the key to the great charm of Minjung Kim's work: a devotion to art that transcends itself in a profound contact with life, expression of an innate beauty and ungraspable amazement at incompleteness, at feeling oneself perennially among things. After graduating from school, Kim has lived and worked in Italy, presenting her works throughout the world including Italy, Switzerland, China, England, USA, and Israel for over thirty five years. Kim particularly has gained a remarkable attention at the exhibition ‘The Light, The Shade, The

Depth’ held in Palazzo Caboto during the Venice Biennale in 2015.

 

She has exhibited at prominent worldwide 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); and Museo Comunale d’Arte Moderna Ascona, Ascona, Switzerland (2003). She participated in the

Gwangju Biennale (2018, 2004). Her work is represented in numerous international public collections including the British Museum, London, UK; Musée des Arts Asiatiques, Nice, France; Fundación Helga de Alvear, Cáceres, Sapin; Swiss Re Art Collection, Zürich, Switzerland; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, New York, USA; Asia Society Museum, New York,

USA; Fondazione Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, Italy; the Museum Sbygningen, Copenhagen, Denmark; OCI Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea; and UniCredit Art Collection, Milan, Italy.

 

She currently lives and works between France and the United States.

 

EDUCATION

MFA, Brera Academy of Fine Art, Milan, Italy

MFA Oriental Painting, Hongik University, Seoul, Korea

BFA Oriental Painting, Hongik University, Seoul, Korea

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

 

2020

Minjung Kim, Hill Art Foundation, New York, USA

 

2019

Minjung Kim, Langen Foundation, Neuss, Germany

Minjung Kim, Galerie Catherine Issert

Minjung Kim, Galería Cayón, Mahón, Menorca, Spain

 

2018

Minjung Kim: Mountains, Robilant+Voena Fine Art Gallery, St. Moritz, Switzerland

The Memory of Process, White Cube, London, UK

Making the Void, Filling the Void, Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, Korea

 

2017

Phasing, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London, UK

Cendre & Lumière, Musée des Arts asiatiques, Conseil Départemental 06, Nice, France

Oneness, Hermès Foundation, Singapore

Paper, Ink and Fire: After the Process, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

 

2016

Phasing, Galerie Volker Diehl, Berlin, Germany

Minjung Kim, Leslie Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, USA

 

2015

Traces, OCI Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

The Light, The Shade, The Depth, Luxembourg & Dayan, Palazzo Caboto, Venice, Italy (curated

by Jean-Christophe Ammann)

 

2014

Oko, New York, USA (curated by Alison Gingeras)

Minjung Kim: The Sound of Light, Galerie Commeter, Hamburg, Germany

Studio d'Arte Raffaelli, Trento, Italy (catalogue with a text of Gerardo Mosquera)

Art Genève 2014, Luxembourg & Dayan, Artgèneve Salon d’Art, Geneva, Switzerland

 

2013

Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London, UK

2012

The Sound of Light, Marco (Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma), Testaccio, Rome, Italy

Leslie Sacks Gallery, Brentwood, Los Angeles, USA

Galleria Sahrai, Milan, Italy

 

2010

Galleria Sant'Angelo, Biella, Italy

 

2009

Galleria Valeria Bella Stampe, Milan, Italy

Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London, UK

Galleria Ermanno Tedeschi, Rome, Italy

 

2008

Galleria Ermanno Tedeschi, Turin, Italy

Robilant+Voena Fine Art Gallery, London, UK

Gallerie Mudimadrie, Antwerp, Belgium

 

2007

Guanshanyue Art Museum, Shenzen, China

Copenhagen Art Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark

Leslie Sacks Fine Art, Brentwood, Los Angeles, USA

Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London, UK

Giudecca795 Galleria d’Arte, Venice, Italy

 

2006

Montecarlo Art Gallery, Milan, Italy

Fondazione Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, Italy

Galleria Valeria Bella Stampe, Milan, Italy

 

2004

Arte92, Milan, Italy

Ikos, Modena, Italy

 

2003

Museo Comunale di Ascona, Ascona, Switzerland (catalogue with a text of Roberto Borghi)

Leslie Sacks Gallery, Brentwood, Los Angeles, USA

Galerie Patrick Cramer, Geneva, Switzerland

 

2002

Galleria Recalcati, Turin, Italy

Copenhagen Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark

Galleria Cafiso, Milan, Italy

 

1999

Wickeiser Gallery, New York, USA

Galerie Patrick Cramer, Geneva, Switzerland (catalogue with a text of Roberto Borghi)

 

1998

Galleria Cafiso, Milan, Italy (catalogue with texts of Luciano Caramel and Roberto Borghi)

 

1997

Cappella di Villa Ruffolo, Ravello, Italy

 

1996

Galleria Arte Borgogna, Milan, Italy (catalogue with texts of Cristina Cano, Jacqueline Ceresoli and

Gianni Schubert)

Galleria Kontraste, Forte dei Marmi, Italy

 

1991

Baik Song Gallery, Seoul, Korea (catalogue with text of Suh Seong Rock)

Injae Art Museum, Gwangju, Korea

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019

Pushing Paper: Contemporary Drawing from 1970 to Now, The British Museum, London, England

 

2018

Imagined Borders, The 12th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea

Clouds Stretching For A Thousand Miles: Ink in Asian Art, Asia Society, New York, USA

Changwon Sculpture Biennale 2018, Changwon, Korea

 

2017

The Mulberry Forest Becoming Ocean, Esther Schipper, Berlin, Germany

Korean: Now and Then, Asia Week New York Contemporary, Kang Contemporary, New York,

USA

Moi & Les Auters, Galerie Catherine Issert, St. Paul de Vence, France

 

2016

Viewing The Past Thru Modern Eyes, Kang Collection, New York, USA

 

2015

Happy Modern and Contemporary Korean Paintings, Kang Collection, New York, USA

The Gaze of... Selected Works of the Unicredit Art Collection, Uncredit Pavillon, Milan, Italy

 

2014

Abstraction: 1911-2014, Leslie Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, USA

Maestri antichi, moderni imprenditori, Galleria Valeria Bella Stampe, Milan, Italy

 

2012

World, Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel

TEFAF 2012, Jacobs Fine Art Gallery, Maastricht, Netherlands

New!, Galleria Valeria Bella Stampe, Milan, Italy

Settimana della Corea, Santa Maria della Vita, Bologna, Italy

 

2011

Galleria E. Tedeschi, Tel Aviv, Israel

Landscape and Memory, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London, UK

 

2010

Twilight Zone, Morgen Gallery, Berlin, Germany

 

2009

Across the Cross (Michelangelo eI contemporanei), Trapani, Italy

La Biennale di Venezia- Sant Elena, Venice, Italy

Galleria La Giarina, Verona, Italy

Galleria E. Tedeschi, Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy

 

2008

Prospects and Interiors: Sculptors’ Drawings of Inner Space, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK

 

2004

The 5th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangiu, Korea

 

2002

Mostra collettiva, Galleria Cafiso, Milan, Italy

 

2001

Paris, New York, Washington D.C. The Odyssey 2001, Korean Republic Embassy, Washington

D.C., USA

Galleria Cophenhagen, Cophenhagen, Denmark

Simboli e simbolismi nell’arte contemporanea, Ticosa Spazio a Shed, Como, Italy

 

1998

Mostra di incisioni, Sala Grassi, Corbetta, Milan, Italy

Territori di frontiera, Spazio Laboratorio Hajech, Milan, Italy

Ad Imaginem, Spazio Linati, Milan, Italy

 

1997

Arti visive, Circolo Culturale Bertold Brecht, Milan, Italy

Pittura e scultura del terzo millennio, Casa del Rigoletto, Mantua, Italy

Mostra collettiva, Galleria Borgogna, Milan, Italy

Mostra collettiva, Galleria Cafiso, Milan, Italy

Incisione collettiva, Castello di Galliate, Galliate, Novara, Italy

Mostra collettiva, Galleria Kontraste, Forte dei Marmi, Italy

 

1996

Mimesis, Galleria della Cassa di Risparmio di Caldaro, Bolzano, Italy

Nel segno della Luna, Rocca Malatestiana, Montefiore Conca, Italy

 

1995

International Exhibition of Art Colleges Hiroshima ‘95, Hiroshima, Japan

Quali differenze, Galleria Arcadia Nuova, Milan, Italy

Mostra Collettiva, Galleria Cafiso, Milan, Italy

Salon I, Living Art Gallery, Milan, Italy

Mostra collettiva, Galleria Kontraste, Forte dei Marmi, Italy

 

1994

Brera a Venezia, Liceo Artistico Statale, Venice, Italy

Dove sostano gli Dei, Centro Storico di Saronno, Italy

First Price International Competition, Fanum Fortunae, Fano, Italy

Sequenze d’Arte Contemporanea, Torre di Ligny - Museo della Preistoria, Trapani, Italy

Salon I ‘94, Galleria Arte Borgogna, Milan, Italy

Salon I ‘94, Villa Litta Carini, Milan, Italy

S.B.C. European competition ‘94, Swiss Bank House, London, UK

Mostra collettiva, Galleria Cafiso, Milan, Italy

La Stampa Originale, Civica Biblioteca d’Arte del Castello Sforzesco, Milan, Italy

 

1991

Pure Korean Art, National Museum of Modern Art, Gwacheon, Korea

 

1990

Koreana Painting - Perspective Years ’90, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea

Night with the Artist, Intercontinental Hotel, Seoul, Korea

 

1989

Current Seoul, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea

Korean Painting - 43 Artist Invited, Chosun Press Center Museum, Seoul, Korea

 

1988

Yiyeon, Kwanhoon Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

Consciousness of transition in the Korean modern painting, Kwanhoon Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

Chunchu, Osaka International Culture Exchange Center, Osaka, Japan

Plastic Art for Today and Tomorrow - 16 Artists, Dongduk Art Gallery, Seoul, Korea

Yeobaik - 16 Artists, Baegak Art Center, Seoul, Korea

New Plastic Art, Chunbuk Art Center, Seoul, Korea

 

1987

Chunchu, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

Yiyeon, Dongduk Gallery, Seoul, Korea

New-Expressionism Korean Painting, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea

Korean Painting - 10 Artist Research, Kwanhoon Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

Post Art, ‘3 Gallery, Seoul, Korea

Section of Korean Modern Painting, Chunbuk Art Center, Seoul, Korea

 

1986

Chunchu, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea

Works of Korean Paintings, Hongik Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

Yiyeon, Kwanhoon Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

Hanmoim Incisione, Kwanhoon Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

Korean Painting. The Differences, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea

Oriental Painting Hong Ik, Kyung In Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

 

1985

Modern Korean Visual Art, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea

Chunchu, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea

Yiyeon, Kwanhoon Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Red Mountain, Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey, USA

Story, Fundación Helga de Alvear, Cáceres, Spain

The Street, Swiss Re Art Collection, Zürich, Switzerland

Phasing, Asia Society, New York, USA

Mutation, Asia Society, New York, USA

Phasing, The British Museum, London, UK

The Room, The British Museum, London, UK

Mountain, The British Museum, London, UK

Story, Musée des Arts Asiatiques, Nice, France

Pieno di Vuoto, Musée des Arts Asiatiques, Nice, France

Dobae, OCI Museum, Korea

Female, Fondazione Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, Italy

Story, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, New York, USA

Pieno di Vuoto, UniCredit, Milan, Italy