Kim explores the world around him via an intuitive study of his own visual experiences. Fragments of fleeting impressions are observed, recorded, and reconstructed: the city evolves into surfaces and texture, which are smooth and rough, geometrical and abstract; the countryside provides organic form and tactile pattern.
The various visual elements are collaged and juxtaposed, filtered through Kim’s meditative imagination, to create a totality which transcends the sum of the individual parts. The world around him is depicted – and challenged – by his paradoxical perception of the relationship between reality and the void, of levels of meaning and existence.
This metaphysical approach, influenced by Buddhist thought, generated images which refer directly to the visual and tactile world while never stating the obvious. Colour (symbolically chosen), shapes, marks, textures, and spaces form the language of the images. Strong contrasts and unexpected re-combinations of these elements are embedded in the effects and techniques of intaglio and relief printing.
The printing itself is achieved using a relatively new technique called “collagraph”. In essence, it is a method of building up a printing plate in a very direct ‘hands-on’ manner through collage of shapes and textures, and mark-making, directly on to the plate itself. The basic principles are simple and direct, but in Kim’s case, misleadingly so. His sophisticated use of the medium is hard-won and the subtleties of his printed imagery are profoundly impressive to anyone familiar with collagraphs.
I first taught him in the early 1990s on a Fine Art BA Honours course at London Guildhall University, where I was Senior Lecturer in charge of Printmaking. Within a few months of my introducing him to the techniques of collagraph, he was already more skilled in its methods and in its multi-coloured printing possibilities than the teaching staff, including myself. He used what he had been taught as a basis for inventive and varied investigations of his own. Since then, he has moved on to complete an MA course at the University of Westminster, where he pursued his interest in collagraph and ceramics, exploring further experimental uses of various materials to combine with printmaking.
His work is therefore doubly inspiring: a metaphysical, abstract depiction of the world around us, allied to a technical masterly on the forefront of his chose medium.
Artist, and external examiner for the Open College of the Arts, UK.
'Repetition III' (Rhythm), monoprint, 71x81cm, 2004.