Jin Kim’s solo exhibition ‘N_either’

Date: 23rd April 2009 ~ 16th May 2009
Venue: I-MYU Projects 1st fl. 23 Charlotte Road London EC2A 3PB

Jin Kim’s solo exhibition ‘N_either’ explores the infinite notions of disparity and not belonging. In his series of oil paintings we see the artist illustrating the issue of marginality as an effect of cultural adjustment with a strong painterly skill. Kim, a young Korean artist working in London, translates his battle of shifting between cultures and experiencing life on the outskirts of society into his work. Just as I-MYU Projects dedicates its space to cross culture curating, Jin Kim’s work explores the complexities that immigrants are faced with when relocating, and he demonstrates the sensory and geographical stresses one may encounter when forced to adjust ones mental and physical sense of belonging.

A reoccurring figure appears alone in every painting, though the relationship between him (an explicit self portrait) and the surrounding space alters as we witness him transported between typically British interior layouts and similarly British garden like scenes. Depths of colour sit behind the figure in both situations, though the interior spaces engulf the figure as he blends almost seamlessly with the well-proportioned furniture and architecture. In the outdoor views Kim inserts a barrier of a window between the figure and the flowery scenes creating a rather separate explanation of the relationship the figure encounters with his surroundings. Both situations convey tones of displacement, alienation, and isolation, and by engaging the concept from two distinct angles in this way the artist is laying great emphasis on the unyielding discomfort a marginal life may bring.

Our feelings towards the figure become sensitive and gentle as we see him passively inactive in the familiar spaces. The artist is not extracting pity from the audience though, as any universal spectator can identify with social situations akin to these. This alien perspective is a human condition; as is the desire to be part of a culture and Kim’s paintings depict how the awkwardness and distress of not attaining such simple conditions is common amongst us all.

Jin Kim graduated from Chung-Ang University with a M.F.A in Fine Art in 2004, and gained a MAFA from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London in 2007. His solo shows include Zurich and London last year, and group exhibitions in Seoul, London and Canada. He currently lives and works in London.

Article Courtesy of I-MYU Projects

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