The first exhibition of 2014 at 43 Inverness Street drew to a close last weekend: their second solo show by Ha Young Kim. Gallery director Suzie Lee talks about the work and its reception in the below video:
The opening of the exhibition was a festive affair, with daegeum player Hyelim Kim performing behind Ha Young Kim’s largest work on show: Do Humans Dream of Growing Electric Plants? (2014). The work, at 3m x 2m, was hung diagonally across the room, leaving the musician mysteriously concealed from view in the corner.
Ha Young Kim’s work is full of both humour and nightmarish grotesqueries. Much of the subject matter seems to be a critique of gluttony (indeed, a 2012 show at Hoxton Art Gallery was entitled Eat All You Can): bowls are crammed full of colourful things to eat, some of which are edible and others definitely not; and one painting, Boom Shakalaka, could almost be depicting Mr Creosote’s unfortunate end from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.
Elsewhere, her range of references seems to range from children’s cartoons (is Self Gradation a reference to Multi Man of Hanna-Barbera’s 1960s animation The Impossibles?) to art history (her My Soul Will Be With You (Self Portrait) recalls Salvador Dali) via church history (her arrow-pierced St Sebastian).
The exhibition has deservedly generated much attention for its striking and colourful imagery. Downstairs there was an interesting new direction for the artist: a black and white animation. Ha Young Kim is working at quite a pace – all the works on display were completed in 2014 – and we look forward to seeing where her practice takes her next.
Ha Young Kim’s solo show was at 43 Inverness Street 21 Feb – 22 Mar 2014. The two photos of Hyelim Kim at the opening event I sourced from Facebook, but I can’t now remember whose page. So drop me a note so that you can be properly credited, or alternatively I’ll take them down if you don’t want them used here.