A Korean artist explores daily life to create provocative installations

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A Korean artist explores daily life to create provocative installations

Kim Young-jin, the video and installation artist, picks up ideas from his daily life and develops them into his artwork.

For instance, when he was driving a car on a rainy night, he noticed the irregular pattern of raindrops reflected on his shirt. "The raindrop pattern on the windshield was 'shot' onto my shirt from the other car's headlights as if it were made by a light projector," he says. "I thought the effect can turn into a medium of my artwork."

Mr. Kim's first solo exhibition in Korea, which opens Wednesday at the Artsonje Center, shows many examples of that sort of inspiration.

"Fluid" (1993) depicts the organically moving image of waterdrops on a wall-size screen. To re-create the raindrop pattern he saw on his shirt, he invented a machine that pumps water and shoots it onto a clear acrylic board. that image is then blown up and projected on the screen.

Mr. Kim will show four other works, all created this year: "Globe ?Passage of 'Anima'," "Walking Through Time," "Behind Memory," and "Swing."

"Swing" features four different angles of a man sitting on a swing, all projected on a white curtain. Inside the space created by the curtain hangs an actual swing attached with projectors.

"Behind Memory" is a series of five antique typewriters that churn out moving images rather than paper.

"Globe" consists of two wall-size screens joined together. The convex image of a man and a woman simultaneoulsly engaged in different activities signifies a recurrent theme of duality -- anima and animus -- Mr. Kim's works.

"Walking Through Time" is a double image projected on a corrugated screen that stands three meters high and five meters wide. Depending on the viewer's position, it is possible to see two different images on the lone screen. Mr. Kim uses childhood photographs to show "before" and "after" images in an effort to evoke nostalgic feelings about family.

Mr. Kim's works are grand in scale, yet they reflect his personal sensitivity. The project is a result of meticulous calculation and personal observation.

According to Kim Sun-jung, the director of Artsonje Center, Mr. Kim's experimental machines and projectors have expanded the arena of sculpture and subsequently gained international recognition. He is one of Korea's rising talents, along with the likes of Yi Bul, Jung Seo-young, Joo Jae-hwan and Bae Byung-woo.

The 41-year-old Mr. Kim is a graduate of Hongik University. He has won numerous awards, including the grand prize at the 1989 Grand Art Exhibition in Korea and the Kim Se Jung Sculpture Prize in 1998. His works have been shown at biennales in Istanbul, Sydney, Johannesburg, Lyon and Gwangju.

The exhibition runs until Jan. 19. For more information, call (02) 733-8940.

by Inēs Cho

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