When looking at the recent development of the user-friendly interface of smartphone cameras, it provides a function that automatically completes pictures through optimized algorithms from basic adjustments to professional calibration technology. We do not want to spare the time to photograph and polish it, and live in a world where we believe and share pictures setup by each brand claiming to be perfect as if it was real. Dropping to the Surface, examines Kyoungtae Kim's manner of looking as a modern photographer in an era of countless images readily produced.
Kyoungtae Kim is currently working on 'to overcome optical perspective'. The method used by the artist in this exhibition is 'focus stacking', a technique that gradually approaches the camera to the subject to obtain and composite the focal plane. This method is mainly used to photograph small objects. During this process of densely photographing the outer surface of the object, sharpness size at the near and far point of the subject is reflected equally, thus completing a flat perspective image without a vanishing point. The entire process for the outcome consists of the actions and experiences of the artist observing objects. Rather than the fact that the artist's work is a photograph with an impossibly strong depth of field, his gaze, and choice of an object before the shooting begins is intriguing.
The artist describes the criteria for choosing subjects as 'an object that show a unit of size in itself and that is heavily influenced by perspective in the final result'. In this solo exhibition, he documents the scale cube in a way mentioned above, creating what appears to be a classification of the Axonometric Projection1 for use in architecture or machine blueprints. The scale cube, which is the subject matter in the exhibition, is a cube measuring one centimeter in all directions, which is used as a scale reference point for size and direction when photographing meteorites at NASA. This exhibition feels more tactile compared to the objects the Kim has shown in the past, such as stone, hexagonal nut, old architecture, and books. Digital printing flattens the rough and beautiful objects of the artist's choice, but the texture invisible to the eye is re-manifested stereoscopically. The landscape that emerges as nature expand is unfamiliar, and there is a pleasure when in revealing hidden surface in industrial goods that have gone through the process of casting, carving, and printing. The unrealistic nature of the scale cube is evident from the cropped shape in Scale Cube 1P, Inkjet Print, 125 x 100 cm, 2019 at the entrance of the gallery, making the actual size of the object ungraspable.
Sometimes his work, which looks like a graphic image, may seem like an attempt to surpass optical technology, but the artist's work process is more of investigating the object first with his eyes and recording them in detail with bare hands on paper. The artist believes that the process of perceiving the form of an object is similar to 'focus stacking', looking through various angles with the eye and recognizing it as an object in the brain. Scale Cube 1F, Inkjet Print, 150 x 150 cm, 2019, is an Isometric Projection2, consisting of all three sides adjacent to the central axis of the image at the same brightness and angle. The scale cube looks odd, even more like a drawing filled with graphite or carved black cardboard, neither flat or three dimensional. Just as the change in perspective of artists over each period reveal self-consciousness, worldview, and the way of seeing of the time, perspectives and printing techniques in Kyoungtae Kim's work illustrates the way artist's attitude in perceiving an object. Surrounded by the lifelike hallucinations of objects printed around thousand times larger than life in Dropping to the Surface, we suspect that we have looked at objects in the past restrained in established rules. Above all modern optical technology, Kyoungtae Kim will continuously expand his library of experiences through the body and constantly share new way of looking.
1 Orthographic projection. The lines of sight are perpendicular to the plane of projection. There are isometric, dimetric, and trimetric types of projection. Preferred in architectural and mechanical drawings, parallel projection without perspective minimize errors in fabrication.
2 A type of axonometric projection, in which length, width and height axes appear foreshortened and the angle between any two of them is 120 degrees.
Press release courtesy Whistle.