Jiyeon Kim – After the Flood

Postponed - Exhibition Dates TBA


Note: This solo exhibition is postponed, due to the current international health concern surrounding COVID-19.

With After the Flood, SomoS presents Jiyeon Kim’s new group of paintings, conceived in Berlin early 2020 during her SomoS Artist Residency, offering a comprehensive look at the unique creative vision of this prolific young South-Korean artist that bridges real and online life in exciting ways.

In her paintings, Jiyeon Kim explores ways of representing the individual in our digital era. Most of her work uses acrylic paint, and combines elements of abstraction with figuration. Deeply invested in reinterpreting the art of portraiture in a contemporary way, she focuses on the ways in which our attitudes toward depictions of the human face and figure have changed with the rise of technology.

Kim previously completed City of Singles – Portraits of Tinder, a series of acrylic portraits of people she found on Tinder. Her interest in how we represent ourselves on social media drives her to question whether the photos we post on Tinder, Facebook, and Instagram might be revealing deeper subconscious desires.

In After the Flood, Jiyeon Kim’s work evolves from Selfie to Story, moving beyond relatively straight portraiture to explore new and more complex ideas about the ways in which we interact with the internet, and the stories that we create within our own minds. Taking inspiration from the flood of images and news articles that we are faced with every day, Kim creates collage-style paintings of stacked disparate elements, combined in a single canvas. There are painted elements combined loosely with parts that have been printed and pasted to the canvas. Kim first conceptualizes these works by organizing the elements digitally in Photoshop, arranging and rearranging them until they achieve a visual balance.

For this new series, which Kim calls “Meme Paintings,” she aimed to explore new ways of combining the imagery and mindset of the digital world with her traditional painting skills. In these paintings, she has combined portraiture with hyper realistic depictions of objects, often brand-name objects like a box of Tic Tacs, that reference the Pop-art tradition, calling to mind the work of Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg, among others. This series can be seen as a progression from Kim’s previous portraiture work, into a unique, collage style of mixed media. However, we can still see her interest in combining the digital world of the internet with the physical world of painting, carried over from her previous series.

The paintings are a visual representation of the fragmented pieces of photos and articles that remain in Kim’s mind after browsing the internet, blended with her own memories and thoughts to create a composition that contains both elements of truth and fiction. Through the filter of our own minds, which are presented with endless information every day, stories become distorted and altered. Kim’s work seeks to visually represent this distortion.

About Jiyeon Kim

Jiyeon Kim completed her BFA at SungKyunKwan University in Seoul, and attended the Innenarchitektur Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst in Hildesheim until 2015. She has held three solo exhibitions in Berlin, participated in several group shows in Seoul, Leipzig, and Berlin, and participated in Art…Essenz 2016. She has previously held a residency at GlogauAIR in Berlin, and was nominated for the EB-Dietzsch-Kunstpreis in 2018.
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