Arthur M. Berger Art Gallery, Manhattanville College
2900 Purchase Street Purchase, NY 10577
Sep. 7 – Oct. 20 2017
Arthur M. Berger Art Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Mikyung Kim. TEMPORALITY (1979 – 2017) is a semi – retrospective exhibition of work by the Korean-born artist Mikyung Kim. She has worked in New York area for thirty-five years since her graduation of Pratt Institute in New York. Her work has been fueled by her deep interest in how human beings connect with their cultural heritage and experiences at a relocated place. The exhibition on view at the Arthur M. Berger Gallery of Manhattanville College will present a wide range of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and objects, involving different materials including ceramics,wood, resin, and dry pigments. Much of her work is based in the conceptual and abstract dimensions of the figure. This exhibition will comprise four periods in consideration of the flow and changes of her works.
In the first period (1979 to 1988), Mikyung focuses on the symbolic connection between ceremonial rites and children’s games. These works are ceramic sculptures that reveal her experimental approach to concepts of space. In the second period (1989 to 1993), her work pursued a personal microcosm of the natural world. The main subject was related to contemplation of the interrelations between nature and science. The third period (1993 to 2010) emphases on the emotional plight in confronting her father’s death and her son’s birth. These intimate experiences were significant in developing the artist’s expressive language. During this period, the artist became involved with time and temporality, such as “28 days’ cycle in the female body ” and another large series of paintings of 280 days. These days are the number of days in her pregnancy, which included the repetition of the Chinese characters for Sun, Moon, Fire, Water, Tree, Gold, and Earth. By using these symbolic elements of the Asian cosmology, Mikyung connected physical entities among her ancestors, her descendants, and herself. In the most recent (2010 to present), the artist began working with the series of Pile-Strata that visualizes “temporality” and confirms the artist’s existence by revealing the temporal moment in life. As with many of the earlier works, Mikyung’s intuitive process relies on the interaction between human touch and the dynamism of materials. Mikyung Kim is from the first generation of Korean American Artists, who settled in New York.
Her work addresses her spiritual roots in healing and cleansing through the ceremonial ritual of Confucianism and the social role of the Shamans in Korean culture. In particular, her work strives to merge the division between birth and death as Mikyung made connections between Jesa (ancestor worship) and her son. Everything is linked to birth, growth, decline, extinction, and the rebirth of life. She believes that the moments in our lives are not fixed and flow with nature. For over 35 years, Mikyung has worked to symbolically capture the meaning of “time” as being the coherent theme in her art. She offers a profound philosophical message through her works that transcends the boundaries between East and West.
About Artist: Mikyung Kim has lived and worked in New York since 1979. She received her MFA from Pratt Institute in New York City in 1983. She had numerous solo and group exhibitions that were included in the Brooklyn Museum, Bronx Museum of Art, Blum Helman Warehouse, and Art Omi in New York. She is a recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Her works were featured in Art Asia Pacific, Village Voice, Space, New York Magazine, New York Times and more. Her works were acquired by The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Kwachon, Korea as well as many more museums and galleries, and most recently by Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.