Tina Kim Gallery is pleased to present Speaking of Latter Genesis, a solo exhibition of work by Kim Yong-Ik on view from 3 May until 15 June 2019. This is the artist’s second show at the gallery; his first was in 2017. On this occasion, we will also be celebrating the release of a monograph on the artist, published by Cahiers d'Art.
With a career spanning over 40 years, Kim Yong-Ik’s practice has focused on deconstructing the visual tropes of modernism, primarily through the medium of painting. According to the artist, the contemporary art world has reached a point of 'fatigue,' where its techniques have become exhausted. In response, the artist has adopted a strategy in his own work wherein he is constantly edits and re-appropriates works from his own oeuvre, reworking older paintings and intentionally employing the same imagery over and over again. In this way he foregrounds how the marks of painting are literally being recycled—pointedly implicating the market in this production.
Speaking of Latter Genesis focuses on Kim’s continued fascination with the polka dot, a pattern the artist has incorporated in his work since the 1990s. A former student of the seminal Dansaekhwa artist Park Seo-Bo, Kim Yong-Ik’s fixation on the dot can be linked to his instructor’s fondness for seriality in composition. However, unlike the organic vocabulary employed in Dansaekhwa, the shapes in Kim’s paintings have a precision that differentiates them, they are more industrial and cerebral. In direct contrast to this reference to modernism, however, Kim intentionally allows his canvasses to become soiled over time, an embrace of entropy that directly alludes to their being in a constant state of change. It is this openness to imperfections juxtaposed with the meticulously painted dots that charges the artist’s work with a subtle but powerful critique—denying them a finished, canonical position. Indeed, Kim embraces imperfection by intentionally scribbling notes on his canvasses and occasionally even burying them underground to hasten their decay.
For his exhibition at Tina Kim Gallery, the artist has created a site-specific installation that engages directly with the space. A series of dots line the room, moving off the canvas and directly onto the walls. By expanding his work beyond the painting surface and into the physical gallery space, the architecture becomes part of the work itself, demonstrating the artist’s refusal to be bound by the constraints of traditional artworks.
Tina Kim Gallery is pleased to announce that coinciding with the exhibition a new monograph on the artist will be published by French publishing house Cahiers d’Art. Entitled Kim Yong-Ik, the book includes texts by Beck Jee-Sook, Director of the Seoul Museum of Art; curator, art critic, and Cahiers d’Art editor Hans Ulrich Obrist; and Philippe Vergne, Director of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal. The artist will celebrate the book’s release with signed copies available at the opening.
Kim Yong-Ik was born in Seoul in 1947 and graduated from Hongik University in 1980 with an MFA in Painting. He served as a professor of painting at the Arts and Design College in Gachon University (former Kyungwon University) from 1991 to 2012. In 1999, Kim co-established Art Space Pool (formerly Alternative Space Pool), one of the first alternative art spaces in Korea, and served as its representative member from 2004 to 2006. A committed critic, writer, and artist for the past four decades, Kim has been a vital voice in the Korean art scene, working in various contexts including Minjung art, land art, and public art, and continuously questioning his practice and art’s role in the ongoing modernisation of Korean society. Kim’s work has garnered increasing attention from international audiences following his successful retrospectives at Ilmin Museum of Art (2016) as well as Spike Island, Bristol and Korean Cultural Centre UK, London (2017).
Kim Yong-Ik has held solo exhibitions at numerous institutions including I Believe My Works Are Still Valid, Spike Island, Bristol, and Korean Cultural Centre UK, London (2017), Closer... Come Closer..., Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul (2016), Timidly Resisting the No-Pain-Civilization, Art Space Pool, Seoul (2011), and Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul (1997).
Selected group exhibitions include Flatland, Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul (2018), the 5th Yokohama Triennale (2014), SeMA Gold 2012: Hidden Track at Seoul Museum of Art (2012), Nature and Peace, Geumgang Nature Art Biennale (2010), After the Grid, Busan Museum of Art (former Busan Museum of Modern Art; 2002), The 1st Korean Young Artists Biennial, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (1981), the 13th São Paulo Art Biennial (1975), and a series of Independent exhibitions at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art from 1974 to 1979.
His works are in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; Busan Museum of Art; Seoul Museum of Art; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles among many others.
Press release courtesy Tina Kim Gallery.