Beyond Dining Table by Hee-ang Kim

Exhibition  /  中文版-ChineseVersion  /  01 Jun 2024  -  09 Jun 2024
Published: 29.05.2024

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I was first acquainted with Hee-ang Kim in 2019, by when she graduated from the Kookmin University of South Korea for no more than 5 years. She was then one of the "emerging" artists we were looking for. At that time, her works had already presented a unique personal style, and "mushrooms" were her only theme of creation. Her exhibition originally scheduled for 2020 has been postponed to this year due to force majeure. What makes me feel at ease is that her research topic remains unchanged and has been constantly evolving
Xiao Liang

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Hee-ang Kim
For Hee-ang, mushrooms are not just food on the dining table. During a causal walk, she stumbled upon a wild mushroom and was immediately touched by its unique beauty. This accidental encounter gave her the opportunity to delve deeper into this particular creature. In her earlier creation, she attempted to reproduce the structure of a complete mushroom to showcase those complex details, but as time passed, she found that the entire lifecycle of mushroom from sprouting to decay had brought her great inspiration. Her “Cluster” series focuses on the mushroom “gills” as the main design element, imagining that mushroom colonies are all formed by widely distributed underground mycelium. On the other hand, her “Inside Out” series envisions flipping the mushroom cap over to fully expose those gills, which creates a rhythmic contrast between the internal and external textures. The “Bloom and Wither” series captures the various stages of the mushroom lifecycle, while the “Slowly” series depicts the gradual unfolding process of a mushroom.

Hee-ang considered polymeric clay to be the perfect medium for representing the “gills” of mushrooms. As a metalworker accustomed to the color and mechanism limitations of metals, polymeric clay greatly expanded her possibilities of creation, and she managed to combine the advantages of these two materials very well. The excellent extensibility of polymeric clay allows it to be easily compressed and cut by tools, and meticulously arranged on the surface of an object, creating complex, layered textures. Although time-consuming, the resulting sense of density and visual rhythm brought great satisfaction to Hee-ang. Besides, the rich color choices of polymeric clay also allowed her to depict the mushrooms in her mind with more vivid or surreal colors. Metal components play a bridging role in the overall image, not only complementing the elegant curves of mushrooms but also completing the functionality of each piece of jewelry.

Many artists are constantly attempting and exploring new concepts, themes, and materials in jewelry, driving the development of jewelry art in their respective ways. At the same time, there are also a group of artists who are fascinated by a "point" that may look very tiny or ordinary, but around this "point", they can continue to research and create for up to a decade, or even longer. In this process, they are slowly and deeply exploring new possibilities, and are constantly improving their techniques and expressive abilities over time. This kind of persistence and focus is admirable, and for me, it is another good example of "See the Big from the Small".
Xiao Liang

Opening: 2024.06.01 at 15.00 h.
Visiting hours: 13:00 - 18:00 h.