Countless paper seeds encompass the swaying landscapes in Ilhwa Kim’s sculptures




February 24, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Space Sample 36” (2020), 164 x 132 x 15 centimeters. All images © Ilhwa Kim, shared with permission

in the Ilhwa KimIn the sculptural landscapes, innumerable paper seeds form precise rows, indented pockets with tightly packed folds and multicolored valleys that meander through the foot-wide works. The South Korean artist staggered individual units of the rolled material, meaning that the color, shadow, and texture of the final pieces change with each viewing. “I am probably a sculptor of the senses. I was very curious about how my senses are organized when I perceive something or a place. The order, priority and type of composition surprise me. How the senses reunite evolves from the first contact to the temporary farewell, ”she says, noting that change and perception play a central role in her practice.

Each composition begins with blank, white paper, which Kim dyes and rolls into tight tubes that can only be cut with heavy machinery. She refrains from gluing the seeds beforehand until the whole piece is ready. “This working process gives great freedom to make meaningful changes, even if they are close to the final stage, ”says the artist. “That’s how a child plays too.” The comprehensive process transforms the original material into permanent units that resemble the organic life form and ultimately grow into larger sculptures.

Kim is based in Seoul and has a solo exhibition for September 2021 in HOFA gallery in London, and you can see a larger collection of their work, including recordings of work in progress Instagram. (over Cross Connect magazine)

Detail of the “Raumstationsprobe” (2016), 192 x 334 x 12 centimeters

“Space Station Sample” (2016), 192 x 334 x 12 centimeters

Detail from “Space Sample 36” (2020), 164 x 132 x 15 centimeters

“Seed Universe 108” (2019), 184 x 152 x 15 centimeters. Image via HOFA

“White Portrait” (2019), 184 x 152 x 15 centimeters

“Space Sample 30” (2019), 119 x 186 x 15 centimeters

“Seed School 3” (2019), 114 x 234 x 13 centimeters

Left: “Seed School 7” (2020), 114 x 234 x 13 centimeters. Right: “Seed Universe 83” (2018), 184 x 132 x 15 centimeters

Detail of “Space Station 5” (2019), 192 x 224 x 15 centimeters

“Space Sample 45” (2020), 184 x 152, 15 centimeters


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