Never Ending Stories: Tae-Kyu Yim
November 20 - December 15, 2018
An art critic Robert C. Morgan mentioned in an essay written for the exhibition catalog the artists’ works are “expressing something vivid and alive to discover forms that possess elasticity and strength, and to evoke new ideas through the medium of painting.” While the artists communicate their ideas through their individual focus on the medium of painting, the visually expressive forms suggest viewers with various backgrounds an opportunity to engage in Korean culture and its recent history. While all five artists have their respective experiences with Korean identity, the artists collectively underwent the same eras where the radical socio-economic and political evolution progressed in Korea. The artists allude to the audience their personal accounts of the radically changing times from the 80s to present while unfolding the narratives through painting, be it their techniques derived from Korean tradition or the subject matter.
Viewers can easily notice a child-like whimsical quality in Tae Kyu Yim’s works. Growing up in Korea in the 80s and 90s, Yim witnessed the chaos created by the adults and clashing of values in the society. In his own right, he rejects the social notion of burdening individuals with complication and responsibilities as an adult. He then started his art practice based on this experience and creates anonymous characters that are neither adults nor children, also known as “Kidults.” By dousing his uncanny yet humorous characters with bright colors and bold outlines Yim seemingly attempts to ease the unrecognized tension we burdened ourselves with. In his most notable and substantial work Erehwon, which name is nowhere spelled backward, is an eccentric work of approximately 30 feet wide that depicts a utopia of Kidults harmoniously living and playing together that applies methods inspired by Korean traditional painting techniques.
About the artists:
Tae Kyu Yim was born in 1976 in Seoul. He currently lives and works in Beijing. Tae Kyu Yim received a BFA degree in Asian Painting at Seoul National University in 2000. A contemporary artist with a background in oriental painting, Yim has developed an original approach to classical Asian painting techniques with layers of paper and ink, in conjunction with other materials. His works frequently narrate and juxtapose the reality of cultural and social issues, as well as his personal struggles as a man. Yim has held a number of solo exhibitions and group exhibitions internationally. His paintings were auctioned at Christie’s Hong Kong and his work is part of the main collections of the KUMHO Museum and the Song Eun Art & Culture Foundation in Seoul, South Korea.
About Gallery JSA:
JSA is an acronym for the Joint Security Area. The Joint Security Area is the only portion of the Korean Demilitarized Zone where South and North Korean forces stood face-to-face and as of April 2018, it has become a symbol of peace and reconciliation to many people of Korea. Gallery JSA envisions an art space accommodates diverse art and culture.