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Art Meet Spirit: Painting and Performance Art image

Art Meet Spirit: Painting and Performance Art

Art leads to spirit; spirit leads to art. The Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. proudly presents Art Meet Spirit, a new exhibition of paintings and performance works by young Korean artists Yeseul Kim and Sophia Kim, who reinterpret the creative process as personal meditation and spiritual training. 

Yeseul Kim’s series The Extreme Landscape examines the parallels between visual art and physical training. Like exercise performed regularly to obtain fitness or beauty, thereby expanding one's physical limitations, the artist’s work also requires repetition, training, and dedication to overcome given limitations. Using a jump rope as brush and a canvas beneath her feat, Kim exhausts herself physically and creatively as she generates hauntingly beautiful landscapes. 

Sophia Kim’s artwork is a reflection of meditations on the ineffable—the indescribable aspects of human existence known as the unseen, the other, or the transcendental. For Kim, exploring this realm beyond philosophical and literary descriptions liberates one's intuition. Her sculptural paintings stimulate both visual and tactile sensations: rich color and raw use of artist’s knives and brushes reveal the meditative physicality of repeated application. The result is both tranquil and tense, with a hidden depth that provides structure for understanding oneself and the world. 

Admission to the opening reception, performance, and talks by the artists on July 7 is free and open to the public, but registration is required (below or here). Art Meet Spirit remains on view through July 28. 

Art Meet Spirit
WHAT: Art exhibition, artist performance & talks, public opening reception
WHO: Yeseul Kim and Sophia Kim
   Opening Reception: Friday, July 7 at 6:00 p.m.
   Live Performance by Yeseul Kim: 6:00–6:20 p.m. in front of KCC
   On View: July 7–28, 2017 (open M-F, 9am-noon & 1:30-5:30pm)
WHERE: Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. (2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW)

Free RSVP to the opening reception! 

CLICK HERE or scroll down to the RSVP form. 

About the Artists

Sophia Kim believes that works of art contain inaudible or invisible elements which are transcendental, meditative reflections on living beings. She has been creating sculptural painting that stimulate the visual and tactile sensations of viewers through changes in textures and the contrast of brightness and saturation of color. The carved shapes created by the repetitive movement of knives and brushes on a solid canvas are like meditation involving repetitive consciousness in stillness. The tranquil canvas, filled with simple colors, induces a sense of tension and exudes expression with a myriad of over-printed lines and traces. Human existence requires building a structure for understanding oneself and the world, so searching for things unseen in art is in fact a meditation on oneself, and how we relate to our surroundings.

Sophia Kim received her Bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University and currently working towards her Master of Divinity at Harvard University. She previously studied at the Art Students League of New York and Hongik University’s Institute of Continuing Education for Culture and the Arts. She has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions as a rising artist, including at EK Gallery (2017) and Seo Jin Art Space (2016), among others. She was selected for Artists of the NordArt 2017 in Budelsdorf, Germany.

Sophia Kim

Color Field Series, Paradox of the Trinity No.2, oil on canvas, 2017

Sophia Kim

Transfixition No.6, mixed media on canvas, 53x45cm,2017

Sophia Kim

Sublimation No. 2, 3, 4, Oil on Canvas, 45.5x27.3cm, 2016

Sophia Kim

Embodied Meditation, mixed media on canvas, 91x65cm, 2017

Yeseul Kim sets an exercise plan and creates art while following it. The repeated movements of her physical exercise leave traces on the canvas, creating a sweeping landscape. Her exercise continues until her physical strength is exhausted. Her series The Extreme Landscape aims to find commonality between drawing and repetitive cycles of physical training. Just as exercise is performed regularly to achieve physical fitness or beauty, surpassing prior limitations, Kim’s artwork also requires regular, repeated training. Both practices are about overcoming limitations and striving for extremes. The seemingly infinite traces created by repeated movements depict a familiar landscape. On a wide canvas, there are atypical parabolas that evoke steep and strange rocks, ridges, and thick woods. The irregular shapes created by these rules of motion reveal an unexpected extreme landscape. 

Kim’s The Extreme Landscape performance is mainly conducted in public outdoor spaces. The artist sweats through the exercise of creating art until her strength is exhausted, creating a contrasting tension with the audiences’ relaxed state and inattentive eyes. By exposing the artist’s hard work, the performance process contains a metaphor for creation, production, and consumption. View an example of Kim’s performance art on YouTube here. 

Yeseul Kim received her BFA in Department of Design from Korea National University of Arts and she received her MS in Department of Industrial Design from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. She has been featured in numerous group exhibitions including at Gallery IS (2017), SOMA Museum of Art Performance Festival - Bring Your Own Body (2016), Gwanghwamun International Art Festival (2017) and among others as a rising artist. She is currently a Creative Director at Studio Myriad.

Yeseul Kim
 The Extreme Landscape series

Yeseul Kim
The Extreme Landscape, live performance

Yeseul Kim

The Extreme Landscape series

water color on fabric, 184x118cm, 2014

Yeseul Kim

The Extreme Landscape series

water color on fabric, 274x155cm, 2016