Brief exhibition visit: Ham Jin, Somewhere Underneath – at HADA Contemporary

Ham Jin: Island #10 (2014). Polymer clay, glue, wire, 10 x 18 x 14 cm
Ham Jin: Island #10 (2014). Polymer clay, glue, wire, 10 x 18 x 14 cm

If you go to the current exhibition at HADA Contemporary, make sure you take a magnifying glass. The grotesque, rather disturbing, sculptures are so tiny that if you’re eyesight isn’t very good they might look like a smudge on the wall.

This little fellow, for example, if you were to straighten his hair, would be little more than a centimetre from top to toe:

Ham Jin: Untitled (2014) polymer clay
Ham Jin: Untitled (2014) polymer clay

while this intricately worked sculpture is about the size of a 2p piece:

Ham Jin: Untitled (2014) polymer clay
Ham Jin: Untitled (2014) polymer clay

Getting up this close to the sculptures makes you notice the texture of the paintwork on the wall, which goes with the artwork rather well.

If you’re planning to photograph the work, you’re recommended to take a tripod. With a normal lens the autofocus on your camera will struggle to lock in to the subject, and you’ll need a steady hand to focus manually.

And if you’re not careful, your quietest breath will stir the gossamer like works that are suspended in a polyester cloud:

Ham Jin: Untitled (2014) polymer clay, polyester
Ham Jin: Untitled (2014) polymer clay, polyester

In the smaller room at the back, more colourful but no less disturbing works are arranged on a shelf: gruesome islands inhabited by creatures resembling Jabba the Hutt or strange underwater plants.

Ham Jin: Island #2 (2014). Polymer clay, glue, wire, 7.5 x 12.5 x 12 cm
Ham Jin: Island #2 (2014). Polymer clay, glue, wire, 7.5 x 12.5 x 12 cm

At the same time exquisite and the stuff of nightmares.

Ham Jin — Somewhere Underneath is at HADA Contemporary till 31 January 2015

Some photos I took, without the benefit of a tripod… :

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