Soun-Gui KIM (b. 1946) who lives and works in France is a pioneer of Korean contemporary experimental art. Since the late 1960s she has presented experimental works in which philosophy, art and technology harmonize through various genres such as video, multimedia, sound, performance and photography. The gallery’s B1, 1st and 3rd floor spaces will feature her new installation and multimedia work, and pinhole camera series of 'foolish photography', which showcases her essential philosophy and aesthetics on time, light, and communication.
The exhibition starts from the basement gallery space with the installation work “Téléphone Arabe” (2023). Since the late 1980s, KIM has focused on works tackling the theme on the expansion of global capital through internet communication and the changes seen in social structure. With the Iraq War, which created a situation where the world believed only news coming from the US, further interest has been developed in distorted communication and the media. These concerns can be seen in a number of drawings carried out between 1987 and 1992. The large installation work “Téléphone Arabe” (2023) that stands in the exhibition space is a new interpretation that has been inspired from these drawings. Through this newly realized work, KIM tries to point out the nature of constantly distorted communication. By returning to the most primitive communication of connecting cans with a string to transmit sound, it allows viewers to reconsider the nature of conflict and sound that is caused by distorted communication that often occurs in our modern society as well as in different cultures. The first floor presents KIM’s new multimedia work, “Stock Garden – Temple” (2023), which is a reinterpretation of her previous video work from the 1990s but much expanded in concept. This multimedia installation, with sound and video, presents numbers of the stock market display board and the sound of the bell tolling at dawn is installed alongside the video. The 33 tolling of the bells reflect Buddhist philosophy of the universe and signifies openness and absolute time in Eastern philosophy. The sound of meditation and capitalist stock market numbers get mixed up with each other, maximizing the inner selves of people living in modern society dependent on the capitalist values of the intangible world. Lastly, the third floor exhibits KIM’s photography works. The artist’s perspective is based on Eastern philosophy such as emptiness and openness and she places great importance on exploring the simplest, most natural and primitive state. A selection of KIM’s ‘foolish photography,’ which reflects on these thoughts are presented. The ‘foolish photography’ series consists of natural images created by a pinhole camera where light is exposed over extended time and images are made into analogue prints from the 1990s. As subjects are taken in the most natural way using time and light, these photographs are characterized by distinctive, blurry and dreamy images. ‘Foolish photography’ contains the natural aspect of what we see in our daily lives captured in its raw state according to the uncalculated time and light exposure, revealing the artist’s own unique perception of the world.
Soun-Gui KIM was born in 1946 in Buyeo and graduated from the Department of Painting at Seoul National University. In 1971 she was invited by Centre Artistique de Rencontre International in Nice to come and work in France. Whilst in France she studied Semiology and Philosophy aesthetics at I’Univeristé Nice-Sophia-Antipolis in Nice and l’Université d’Aix en Provence. While working as artist in France, she has taught at École Nationale d'Art Décoratif de Nice, the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Marseille, and the École Nationale Supérieure d'Art de Dijon. Her works have been presented in a number of solo exhibitions held in ARARIO GALLERY Seoul (2018), ARARIO MUSEUM in SPACE (2016), Art Sonje Center (2014), Slought Foundation (2013), and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nice (1991). Since the most retrospective solo exhibition Lazy Clouds (2019) held at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea, which showed her works from the end of the 1960s to recent works. Her works have been shown at ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in Germany (2022) and she was invited to participate at the 58th Carnegie International in Pittsburg, USA. She will also present her works in Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2023).