PO KIM • SYLVIA WALD • YOUNG SUP HAN • YOUNG HIE NAM
Curated by Odelette Cho
April 11, 2019 – June 6, 2019
This exhibition looks at how two artist couples, Po Kim and Sylvia Wald and Young Sup Han and Young Hie Nam, broke away from their respective pasts and incorporated nature into their life narratives and art forms. The Wind, The Stone, The Sky explores the artists’ deeply different, yet equally poignant interpretations of nature’s physical and metaphysical significance. Through a variety of media and techniques, with nature as their common theme, a delicate balance of Eastern and Western cultures is revealed in their works and within each couple’s lives.
Based in Korea, Young Sup Han and Young Hie Nam are best known for their works employing traditional Korean mulberry paper, called hanji, yet both artists explore the versatile boundaries of this culturally historic medium in uniquely distinct ways. Han’s large, striking paintings are marked by rough, unpolished, jagged lines created through a rubbing process involving natural materials such as stones, twigs, corn stalks, and perilla leaves. Nam’s works explore the possibilities of hanji paper in a markedly different way. Characterized by warmer tones and softer textures, her works explore the medium’s organic properties to evoke a sense of the fundamental serenity rooted in nature and tradition.
A powerful connection to nature also informs the works of Sylvia Wald and Po Kim, who cultivated paradisiac gardens at both their lakeside house and on the rooftop of their Manhattan residence. The inspiration found in their gardens extends throughout Wald’s entire body of work—from the subjects and organic qualities of her silkscreen prints to the found objects incorporated into her sculptures and assemblages. Kim’s stylistically diverse paintings with figures of animals and natural motifs point to the solace he found both in nature and in painting, and reveal his yearning for an Arcadian escape from the traumatic events he had experienced earlier in life.
Like the freedom of the Wind, the resolution of the Stone, and the infinitude of the Sky, the works of Kim, Wald, Han, and Nam demonstrate each artist’s technical mastery and interpretation of their natural environments to pay homage to their individual source of strength and inspiration—nature itself.
This exhibition has been curated and produced in collaboration with the Donghwa Cultural Foundation.
Header image: Po Kim, Delight, 1995, acrylic and collage on canvas, 83.75 x 268.5 inches