sun hwang kim – pages from ki-da rilke at wilkinson

25 October 2012 § 1 Comment

Having talked about the upsurge in Korean art in the review of Minhong Pyo at High House another artist on the way up Sun Hwan Kim. His show has recently opened at the Wilkinson Gallery in Vyner Street and he has recently appeared at such august Instititions as the Kunsthalle Basel and the Tanks at Tate Modern (where work related to this exhibition is shown).

The – rather awkward I feel – premise of this exhibition is from the phrase ‘ki da rilke‘ which in Korean means ‘I will wait’. He has then drawn an association with the Poet Rainer Marie Rilke and made transcripts of some poems and made drawings in response to them.

The results, for me, are mixed. The texture and mark making is delicate and interesting. Using a wide variety of products in each work – one example: Parchment paper, paper, acetate sheets, making tape, photo tape, artist tape, pencil, poster paint marker (water base), marker (xylene base) and gel pen – there is an ethereal and delicate quality to the works. Fantastical figures and flowing organic shapes that wouldn’t be out of place in a Glastonbury shop window – or a modernists sketch pad for that matter – drift in and out of focus amongst the layers of paper and acetate. He draws on Rilke’ for a poetical approach and where the metamorphosis of person and object is the theme.

They are interesting to look at but there doesn’t seem to be much substance and although this is largely deliberate the drawings don’t amount to much. The most interesting part here is the adventurous approach to framing – where the wooden frames are sometimes folded back upon themselves, stretched up the wall or absent altogether – and hanging where they are may be propped up against the wall or hung at different levels. Both reflect Kim’s experimental approach to 

Playful, wistful, experimental and spiritual are other words to attach to this show that will appeal to many, if not to me on that day. Maybe I should go and read some more Rilke and try again?

Sung Hwan Kim – pages from Ka-di Rilke until 11 November 2012

Images courtesy of Wilkinson Gallery

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