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Kim Juree’s work at the V+A is melting …

Kim Juree: Hwigyeong (2015)
Kim Juree: Hwigyeong (2015) – mid-way through the dissolve…

An integral and intended feature of Kim Juree’s work is that it self-destructs. As I said a couple of months ago when first reporting on the V+A’s Contemporary Korean Ceramics exhibition:

“Kim makes models of 1980s-1990s houses being demolished in her naighbourhood. The houses are characterised by a unique combination of western and Korean architectural features.” The works, which are incredibly detailed, are made of unfired clay and ultimately are placed in shallow trays of water so that they slowly soften, sag and dissolve into earth.

To provide a bit of a show for London Design Festival, one of the models that were in a display case at the start of the exhibition has now been placed in a tray of water in the centre of the gallery so that it can commence its slow process of dissolution. The work’s slow death is being captured on camera – maybe one day we’ll have a timelapse video.

What’s interesting is to see the different ways in which the building is gradually collapsing. From a distance, the clay that is gradually oozing into the water looks like melted chocolate. But up close you can still see the incredibly detailed brickwork surviving – for now, at least. But there’s not just a slow, soft sagging in the fabric of the building: one of the walls has cracked, as you might expect of a building subject to extreme subsidence.

Kim Juree: Hwigyeong (2015).
Kim Juree: Hwigyeong (2015) – before being placed in a tray of water

Catch it soon, before it dissolves completely.

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