Tina Kim Gallery is very pleased to present Antithesis of Boundary, an exhibition of new video work, drawings, and two sculptures by artist Gimhongsok. Well known as one of Korea’s most provocative and engaged cultural interpreters, this will be Gimhongsok’s first solo exhibition in New York.
Gimhongsok’s diverse body of work includes sculpture, photography, and video often utilizing all three in complex installations and performances that critically engage questions of social identity and cultural translation. For Antithesis of Boundary, Gimhongsok will show four videos that challenge the social function of public art. Each video follows the same format wherein a narrator delivers a lecture that satirically engages the role of art in society. In the work Public Blank the canned lecture expounds on the role of public sculpture by suggesting eight projects that make a mockery of the staid and empty function of most civic monuments. In “Tower of Ethics”, for example, the narrator details a plaza which will provide a meeting place for beggars and artists. This strategy of utilizing the language of bureaucracy and civic engagement to reveal its inefficacy and corruption is a favorite of Gimhongsok and is alternately humorous and painfully salient in today’s bombastic political climate. By presenting the ideas in the form of a hired lecturer, the artist also complicates the way art described in words inevitably fails to communicate the same ideas as an actual built object.
Continuing this interest in cultural (mis)translation the artist will present two sculptures that explore themes of appropriation and mediation. The first, Donkey, depicts a life-sized replica of a human in a donkey costume. Accompanying the costume is a sign suggesting it is inhabited by an illegal alien —an assertion that skillfully tests the viewer’s trust in and experience of the work. The second sculpture, titled Rabbit Construction, is a cast bronze appropriation of Jeff Koon’s famous bunny. In both, questions of authorship and intent disrupt the reading of the work and destabilizes its meaning. Gimhongsok’s work skillfully critiques how global brands appropriate symbols and manipulate our desires while showcasing how these same symbols are cynically recycled for international audiences. Born in Seoul in 1964, Gimhongsok graduated from Dusseldorf Kunst Akademie in Germany after earning his BA in Fine Arts at Seoul National University. Gimhongsok has exhibited internationally at the REDCAT Gallery, Venice Biennale, Istanbul Biennial, Tirana Biennale, Valencia Biennale, Echigo Tsumari Triennale, Taipei Biennial and Gwangju Biennale. In addition, he has been included in exhibitions at LACMA, Hayward Gallery in London, Kunsthalle Wien in Wien, Mori Museum in Tokyo and Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.