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Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds Ocula Conversation Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds

Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City Ocula Report Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City 15 Nov 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Kim Tschang-Yeul

b. 1929, South Korea

In 1976, Kim Tschang-Yeul’s first solo exhibition in Seoul was without a parallel at its time, and completely charmed its audience. The general exclamations were 'Such an unusual droplet!' and 'How can one create a water drop so close to reality!'. For myself, I have had a similar experience when I visited Atelier de France. The way he painted the water drop on one side of the door of an apartment was also quite unforgettable.

The droplets are so real that it makes you want to touch them. Although they are not real water drops, they are not painted like they would exist in real life. The droplets that are painted on the canvas are a form of fixed ideas, which are vague memories that are being conveyed to us. In that meaning, Kim Tschang-Yeul’s water drops are from a humanitarian origin. But this illusion has no connection with illusionism.

As far as I know, He has never painted the droplets on the canvas from the start. Usually, his production process begins from a temporarily prepared paper of the same size of the canvas. This process is a mere esquisse, and soon it will soon move onto a procedure of making holes through the paper. Depending on the esquisse, the whole conception of the piece may change and be decided upon. However, after Kim Tschang-Yeul puts on the [esquisse=pattern] onto the blank canvas and begins placing the water drop precisely onto his piece, it's hard to determine whether what he is drawing is really a water drop. His work does not solely consist of making a call of condolences for a particular illusion, but rather the opposite. He strives to create an independent subject completely free from all illusions. And from this point, Kim Tschang-Yeul resolves his dilemma of the water drop illusion.

To say it short, one gets a sense that Kim Tschang-Yeul’s work is being restricted by the water drops. It’s true of the saying [These are not water drops]. The subjects possess the space within the canvas, as they seem like they will flow down imminently (which they sometimes do), but sometimes stay perfectly still. There seems to be no restriction of space in Kim Tschang-Yeul’s paintings. However what does manifest within the paintings are [nothingness=nonexistence of space]. Once the transparent dead matters land on the paintings and luster upon the painting, they place a shadow of phosphorescence. Full of realism, these objects transmutate the [nothingness=nonexistence of space] to a point where they bring a marvelously fresh point of view of experience. So to speak, such viewing experience holds Shin-bon-gi-in property. The image of the water drops drawn onto the screen does not stop at being a simple object we view upon with a certain distance, but an illusion where we ourselves are driven towards the painting. 

Once could say that Kim Tschang-Yeul’s work is so powerful and enchanting it possess a magnetic-like property that resides in every corners of the screen. Such attractive properties brings balance to the high degree of tension between the flat surface and the image. Despite the work’s modernism, I gaze at the droplets and I see a [Ball] within each one. Leaving his homeland and settling down in France, I know that Kim Tschang-Yeul pursues a life of deep religious ideologies. However this has nothing to do with the latter. As I come to think of it, one could consider that this artist is drawing an infinity of [Ball]s through the water drops...

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Featured Artworks

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Water drops by Kim Tschang-Yeul contemporary artwork
Kim Tschang-YeulWater drops, 1973 Oil on canvas
73 x 60 cm
Tina Kim Gallery
Composition by Kim Tschang-Yeul contemporary artwork
Kim Tschang-YeulComposition, 1969 Acrylic and cellulose lacquer on canvas
150 x 150 cm
Tina Kim Gallery
Composition by Kim Tschang-Yeul contemporary artwork
Kim Tschang-YeulComposition, 1970 Acrylic and cellulose lacquer on canvas
162 x 136 cm
Tina Kim Gallery
Waterdrops 水珠 by Kim Tschang-Yeul contemporary artwork
Kim Tschang-YeulWaterdrops 水珠, 2009 Oil on sand
162 x 97 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries
Recurrence 回歸 by Kim Tschang-Yeul contemporary artwork
Kim Tschang-YeulRecurrence 回歸, 2017 Acrylic and oil on canvas
300 x 194 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries
SPY201802 by Kim Tschang-Yeul contemporary artwork
Kim Tschang-YeulSPY201802, 2018 Oil on canvas
117 x 91 cm
P21
Événement de la nuit by Kim Tschang-Yeul contemporary artwork
Kim Tschang-YeulÉvénement de la nuit, 1972 Oil on canvas
161 x 161 cm
Almine Rech
Recurrence by Kim Tschang-Yeul contemporary artwork
Kim Tschang-YeulRecurrence, 1994–2017 Oil and Indian ink on canvas
89 x 145 cm
Almine Rech

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Kim Tschang-Yeul, New York to Paris at Tina Kim Gallery, New York
Open Now
24 October–7 December 2019 Kim Tschang-Yeul New York to Paris Tina Kim Gallery, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group exhibition, What You See Is What You See at Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore
Closed
1–31 March 2019 Group exhibition What You See Is What You See Pearl Lam Galleries, Dempsey Hill, Singapore
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Absorption as a Way of Seeing 凝觀 at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong
Closed
27 August–10 September 2018 Group Exhibition Absorption as a Way of Seeing 凝觀 Pearl Lam Galleries, Pedder Street, Hong Kong

Represented By

In Related Press

A Modern Trompe L’Oeil Painter Related Press A Modern Trompe L’Oeil Painter Hyperallergic : 9 November 2019

Kim Tschang-Yeul (b. 1929), a towering figure of Korean modern art, is best known for his trompe l'oeil depictions of pristine water drops beaded on either a monochromatic surface or raw linen. As Kim Tschang-Yeul: New York to Paris, at Tina Kim, underscores, it was while living he was living in New York that his work began to change, leading...

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KIM TSCHANG-YEUL Related Press KIM TSCHANG-YEUL ArtAsiaPacific : 4 July 2018

Artist Kim Tschang Yeul has been painting water drops for more than 45 years. What began as a spark of inspiration soon became a signature motif that differentiated him from his Korean compatriots. With nearly two dozen paintings spanning half a century of work on view, the retrospective at Almine Rech Gallery New York traced the visual progression...

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Hong Kong's Art Central Fair Won't Shy Away From Controversial Commentary Related Press Hong Kong's Art Central Fair Won't Shy Away From Controversial Commentary Forbes : 28 February 2018

Donald Trump will make an appearance of sorts at this year’s Art Central fair in Hong Kong. Visitors will find him in a 1930s-style living room hidden among the gallery booths filled with abstract paintings and polished sculptures. When people enter the homely space, they'll be asked to sit down, make themselves comfortable and turn on the vintage...

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