South Korean contemporary mixed media artist, Ilhwa Kim, will début new and never-before-seen artworks created during covid lockdown at a solo exhibition happening at HOFA Gallery London this October. Titled 'Seed Unfolding' and inspired by the unique experience of lockdown, the show unveils a new dimension to Ilhwa's creative explorations on more than 20 large panel artworks. For this artist whose seed universes continue to win critical acclaim as some of the most intriguing abstract sculptural paintings of our time, the forthcoming solo exhibition affirms the immanent self-narrating power of art. In essence, the show builds on the recognition that art speaks for itself both to the viewer and the artist.
Ilhwa Kim's artworks are as captivating as they are unmistakable. Her hand-painted folds of cut Hanji paper, set in place with precise and meticulous artistry, reveal extrusions and indentations, slides, paths, queues, and constellations which collectively speak to the rich, organic dynamism of perception. The self-proclaimed 'sculptor of the senses' builds on past collections as she explores a new dimension to her art discovered through the isolating and sensitizing experience of living in lockdown.
In the artist's own words, "During lockdown, we all had to live in very limited, disconnected spaces. It forced us to dust off our recipes and gave us hours to reinvent our everyday experiences at home. For me, I became conscious of how my senses gave more attention and room to minor details of my everyday life, and this new attentiveness, this new sensitivity led me to experience my own works in a new way."
After months in lockdown and while still dealing with a lingering pandemic, most people would agree they share Ilhwa's renewed appreciation for the everyday and the spaces we inhabit. It's an appreciation that puts all else in perspective. For the artist, the months without frenzied work and travel provided an opportunity to listen to her seeds. As she puts it, "My seeds have been growing a lot for the last few years and now, they stood in front of me. They began to murmur and whisper something more concrete in their own language and I have enjoyed all the listening hours of last year..." Her new works are imbued with a depth of perspective, dynamism and self-awareness arising from her recognition that the seeds in her universes are very much like living spaces in which new and evolving narratives of past, present, and future are told in the eyes and mind of the beholder.
Ilhwa Kim’s ‘Seed Unfolding’ exhibition launches at HOFA Gallery, Bruton Street, Mayfair, 22 October – 4 November 2021
11 Bruton Street
London W1J 6PY