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Artist Spotlight: Myeongbeom Kim

Wednesday 18th June 2014

In this edition of the Artist Spotlight, we're going to take a look at Myeongbeom Kim, a sculptor trained on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Originally studying in Seoul, South Korea, and earning a Bachelor of Fine Art in Environmental Sculpture, he began to study and sculpt for his Master's Degree at the famous Art Institute of Chicago. Since then, he has been dividing his living and working time between Seoul and Chicago, and it seems like this duality may have created an interest in intersections of culture, as the theme of unexpected intersection seems to run throughout the majority of his work. The results are nothing short of zen surrealism, if such a thing can be said to exist at all (although this question itself might be said to be zen surrealism). .

Each piece has a stunning simplicity, but captures a haunting, surreal beauty and makes you do a double take. The intersection of man-made objects and the natural world is a frequent source of subject matter, but one of this writer's personal favourites is the one-legged chair being held up by a giant cluster of helium balloons.

Speaking to mymodernmet.com, Kim had this to say about his work: "I try to examine how my surroundings are perceived and remembered. To do this, I listen to a whisper from the objects within my surroundings. I attempt to have an intimate, private dialogue with the world, trying to concretely present the way things approach me, by using other mediums.

"To ask what an objects means to me is like asking what being I am. I have consistently experienced my surrounding objects from the perspective of life, growth, and decline, which lends vitality to my work."

Considering the importance of life, growth, and decline, it will be interesting to see how the young tree to which a wooden chair was affixed will grow around the sculpture. While I have a few reservations about using actual living plants in artistic works, I'm still curious to see how it will turn out both visually and conceptually. It's no wonder that Kim has been featured in galleries around the world, as well as received numerous awards and plaudits for his work.

To see his portfolio of work, visit his website here (although it appears to be a bit buggy, which is disappointing - guess he should have used Gallereo!)

Posted on June 18th 2014 on 03:45pm

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