K-ARTNOW

Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide

Korea’s First-generation Woman Sculptor Kim Yun Shin Is Represented by Kukje Gallery and Lehmann Maupin

Artist Kim Yun Shin ©Kukje Gallery and Lehmann Maupin

Kukje Gallery and Lehmann Maupin announced their co-representation of Korea’s first-generation woman sculptor Kim Yun Shin (b. 1935). Kukje Gallery, committed to introducing Korean artists to a global audience over the past four decades, and Lehmann Maupin, known for showcasing international artists across various locations, will collaborate to present Kim’s practice to the broader art community. This co-representation marks the artist’s first-ever partnership with a commercial gallery.

Following the initial presentation of Kim’s sculptures at Frieze London in October 2023, Kukje Gallery will continue its efforts in expanding the artist’s presence beyond South America, where she has primarily been active. In March 2024, Kukje Gallery will mount its first solo exhibition with the artist, offering both Korean and international audiences an opportunity to delve into her prolific six-decade career, highlighted by a consistent emphasis on the inherent properties of natural materials like wood and stone. In February 2024, Lehmann Maupin will present a dedicated selection of works by Kim at Frieze Los Angeles, followed by an “In Focus” presentation at Lehmann Maupin New York in March.

In regards to her new collaboration with the two galleries, Kim commented, “The year 2023 was a significant turning point in my 60-year artistic career. The decision to work in Argentina for the past 40 years was driven by my own determination. My visit to Korea in 2022 was planned as my final visit to my homeland, considering I will turn 90 in the near future. I wasonly able to work and exhibit in Korea without difficulty, thanks to the unwavering support of my family, friends, and students, who always welcomed me with open arms. I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to meet the founder of Kukje Gallery, Hyun-Sook Lee, and the co-founder of Lehmann Maupin, Rachel Lehmann, through my solo exhibition at Nam-Seoul Museum of Art in 2023. I deeply appreciate the support and encouragement from the two galleries, as well as the warm reception from the people in my homeland. With my remaining strength, I will return everyone’s support by devoting my time to creating work that I hope will inspire many.”

Kim Yun Shin, Add Two Add One, Divide Two Divide One 2022-2, 2022, Zelkova wood, 140 x 68 x 50 cm ©Kukje Gallery and Lehmann Maupin

Born in Wonsan (present-day North Korea) in 1935 under Japanese colonial rule, Kim graduated from the Department of Sculpture at Hongik University in 1959. In 1964, she moved to Paris to further her studies in sculpture and lithography at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. After returning home in 1969, she taught at various universities across a decade. In 1974, Kim played a key role in establishing the Korea Sculptress Association to champion the rights and interests of emerging sculptors. In 1983, Kim traveled to Argentina, where her nephew had immigrated, and was instantly captivated by its wilderness, vast grounds, and most notably, the robust wood of the region, which prompted her move to Buenos Aires the following year.

Subsequently, Kim also spent time in Mexico and Brazil, where she continued to explore new materials such as onyx and semi-precious stones that demand rigorous physical labor. In 2008, she founded Museo Kim Yun Shin in Buenos Aires, and in 2018—in recognition of her contributions to the local community—a permanent space dedicated to showing her work was established at the Korean Cultural Center in Argentina. In early 2023, Kim held her inaugural institutional solo exhibition in Korea, titled “Kim Yunshin: Towards Oneness”, at the Nam-Seoul Museum of Art; the comprehensive showcase reignited both renewed and belated interest in the artist.

Since the late 1970s, Kim has encapsulated her body of work under the title Add Two Add One, Divide Two Divide One, assigning the same name to each sculptural piece. As implied by the title, each work elucidates Kim’s sculptural process of adding one’s spirit to the work, where “two becomes one through interaction, then splits again to become two different ones.” Capturing the life force inherent in the distinctive bones and grains of each tree, the artist delicately carves into the material “not with violence, but with heart and soul,” revealing the inner core while leaving the bark intact.

Kim’s paintings also embody her distinctive artistic philosophy, which perceives nature not as a mere object of contemplation but as a subject that functions as “one” with the artist. Inspired by the vibrant energy of the Argentinian landscape, the Song of My Soul and Primal Vitality series explore the eternal interplay of life and the intense vitality deeply rooted within, employing a wide array of colors, wavelengths, and unrestrained planes. The Right This Moment series, featuring paint applied to thinly sliced pieces of wood stamped onto the canvas individually, evokes the ephemeral nature of time and the fundamental essence of life. With an open-minded spirit and a profound respect for her chosen materials, Kim continues to develop her distinctly personal visual grammar to this day.

Editor’s Picks

Most Views

Editor’s Picks

Most Views

Art People
Post Views: 142