4 May 2009 – 5 July, 2009
Jimin Kim is a visual artist from Korea from the Changdong Art Studio, run by the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korea. Kim's residency was the New Zealand component of a collaboration between the Arts Centre, The Asia New Zealand Foundation and the Korea Foundation. Concurrently to Kim's visit to New Zealand, Dunedin based artist Kushana Bush undertook a residency at Changdong.
Kim's sculptural installations delve into consumerism and the power of the brand. By sewing together thousands of labels of ubiquitous, coveted brands (Reebok, Levis, Adidas and the like), he creates large objects that are on their face visually arresting, yet simultaneously critique the 'label' and its power. Tae-man Choi writes in his article ‘A black hole empty yet inescapable’:
The Fan 2009, suggestive of Kenneth Noland and Frank Stella's Hard Edge or Minimalist mode, refers to an electric fan or a fan as its shape indicates. As the English word 'fan' means the frenetic lover or supporter, the discs made of labels can be seen as black holes. These infinitely expanding black holes signify the pitfalls into which we fall in consumer society of the abysses where our desire for consumption and possession is incessantly stimulated.
Wicked Flowers takes up the idea of the fine line that exists between beauty and terror. The flowers in the giant tree of the south quad are arresting and visually striking, whilst being made of ‘fans’ they are at the same time somewhat carnivorous, drawing the viewer to them in order to consume, something like a Venus Fly Trap. The Fan in the clocktower is like the black hole which Choi refers to- the huge size of the work occupies one’s entire peripheral vision, leaving the viewer somewhat dizzy or overwhelmed. Wicked Flowers, 5 pieces, installed in south quad tree.
Images: Top- Wicked Flowers, South Quad, the Arts Centre, 2009. Labels, thread, wire, solar lights, dimensions variable.
Bottom: The Fan, Clocktower, The Arts Centre, 2009. Labels, thread, wire, 2.6 metre diametre.