Conversation with So Yeon Kim accompanying pretty sure it’s just the wind, a project and an exhibition by four artists who live and work in Frankfurt am Main – Minhyeok Ahn, So Yeon Kim, Kristina Lovaas and Rudi Ninov, that spans across two locations in Sofia, Goethe-Institut and Swimming Pool.
What works have you chosen to show in Sofia?
I am showing my most recent works that were made this year. The painting in Goethe-Institut and the drawing in Swimming Pool were made together and in my mind they are one work, split between the two spaces. I am also showing one print from a series of monotypes I made last fall.
What was your specific response to each of the two spaces, Goethe-Institut and Swimming Pool?
I started “Briar patch, only three thorns” in an attempt to “repair” the water-damaged floorboards of my grandmother’s apartment in Seoul from my studio in Frankfurt. I had to create new supports in the form of stamps and sculptures to replace the furniture, instead of tracing what was available like I did before. Thinking about the physical distance that makes the task infeasible and delusional, it felt fitting to make this painting and its supports not just happen on one surface but have it exist everywhere. So now the sculptures are in Frankfurt and the top layer ended up traveling to Swimming Pool, which is funny to me because it feels like it accidentally landed in the wrong apartment. The layer in Swimming Pool is very fragile, impractical, and cheap; it requires constant care and often causes a desire to abandon it on my side— but seeing it finally stand alone in an intimate space, it feels like the space allows it to be in such a transitory, emotional state. On the other hand, I wanted to avoid the other two layers becoming a giant, stable object, so I chose to put them in the gallery at Goethe-Institut, and thus have the white cube space challenge the work to break itself and the space up.
What is the process and meaning behind the imprints inhabiting your works? What role does space play in situating these bodies, both on and outside the canvas?
For me the process of making images, figures and abstraction often comes from printmaking. After a while, I wanted to bring the speed and the different mood of this process into large scale paintings, not just the images. First I started to print wet drawings and paintings with the weight of my body, and then tracing furniture and stamps came after I started recognising the space and architecture I visit, live in, and work in. I have a fear/fantasy of these spaces getting demolished or disappearing when I am not there, so I do my best to reconstruct the spaces and fantasize about repairing the floor, ceiling, walls in the studio. I flip, fold, and move the surface from the floor, to the wall, back on the floor. The process is very improvised and unwieldy so it allows the figures on the canvas to break up many times throughout to appear active and fugitive in the end. I think the process of breaking things down in painting is a way for me to make sense of things and to navigate relationships.