For Minjung Kim, the material of the artwork is like one's own skin—and the vibration of the material takes on the tenor of emotions themselves. Curated by Boon Hui Tan, the former director of the Asia Society, this solo show is Kim's first career survey. Trained by a Korean ink and watercolor master as a child, Kim went on to earn her master's in Italy, and maintains her studio practice in New York and the south of France.
The three dozen works on view at the Hill Art Foundation are quiet, slow, and exceedingly lovely: hanji paper is sliced thin like microscope slides, then seared, layered, and adhered. Their method is gradual accretion, their mode meditative. They are often monotone, but never monotonous—Tension (2019), for instance, bulges out every so slightly from its frame toward its pinprick center. In her expressive "Mountain" series, the ink spreads slowly across the grain of the paper, its uneven edges like the silhouette of trees, its layered accumulation like the gradient of atmospheric distance. On rare occasions, Kim adds color to her roster of media; there's a pair of paintings titled Red Mountain (2019) and a single Blue Mountain (2019), but also Pieno di Vuoto (2008) [pictured], in which riotous color bursts forth like spring blossoms in full bloom.
Minjung Kim, Pieno di Vuoto, 2008. Mixed media on mulberry, hanji paper, 82 3/4 x 59 1/8 inches.