Going back to the roots: Korean artist brings out emotions behind the images

Work is depiction of myths and legends she has been brought up with.


News Desk June 04, 2015
Kim’s work is wholly devoted to traditional milieu and depicts creatures of ritual significance. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Korean artist Hyun Ju Kim is all set to exhibit her drawings at the National College of Arts, Rawalpindi.

The artist does not simply attempt to visualise an exotic cliché, but aims at brining out the emotions behind the images.

In the suite of etching and lithographs on show, Kim depicts her inner world rather than the external environment, presenting personal stories and reflections, many of which seemingly relate to myths or stories from the tribal cultures of the Far East and India.

Printed in small editions, Kim’s drawings show stylised, fantastic figures with elaborate headdresses as well as eccentric birds, fish and animals, all involved in intense activity.

There are patterns within patterns, and hardly a space is left unadorned. Unfurling frond-like designs, spirals, zigzags, masses of tiny triangles, fine lines and a multitude of other decorative devices, both established and invented, are employed.

Kim’s images are based on the oral traditions of her origins. Myths and legends told to her are the sources of her inspiration.

She has ’no’ interest in the real world and utilises the self-decoration of the tribal dancers, the colours, patterns, lines and forms of the insects, birds and animals of the tropical bush.

Kim completed her Masters in Fine Arts at Visva Bharati University at Santiniketan, India, after graduating from Dankook University in Korea. She has exhibited her work widely across the globe and has been an artist-in-residence in Egypt, Greece, Australia, New Zealand.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2015.

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