CI KIM: Play the Fool

23 May - 15 October 2017 Cheonan
Press release

ARARIO GALLERY CHEONAN is proud to present Ci Kim (b. 1951)’s 9th solo exhibition from May 23rd to October 15th, 2017. This exhibition will show over 70 works including large scale paintings installation, sculpture, video, photography and other works that are inspired from construction materials. The title of the exhibition is ‘CI KIM, Play the Fool. ‘Non (㯎)’, a letter used in Korean Title, is a rarely used letter in Korea. It comprises the unique form of an ‘Un (言)’ (meaning word) squeezed in between two ‘Mok (木)’ (as in tree)s. The artist chose the title to reflect his candid confession that his artistic language and actions are inevitably and boundlessly foolish.


One of the first elements that grasp the viewer’s attention is the unique use of medium. For Ci Kim, who has built, rebuilt, and remodeled multiple sites including, galleries, museums, bus terminal, restaurants and more, the artist feels very close to construction materials such as cement, soil, tree, iron, aluminum and others. The artist has continuously experimented with unique materials, such as exploring the spectrum of varied colors and textures arising from rusting metal shavings, the decaying process of a tomato as it disintegrates into white mush; steel boards or discarded refrigerators washed up on the shore. This exhibition presents works including mannequins wearing funny masks and wigs, covered in cement, vestiges or vinyl covers, wooden panels and metal panels that have been naturally wet countless times as well as old wooden panels with vivid marks left from mounted bricks. Other works of cement works made from multifaceted paints that embody the nature of Jeju-do and stripped off canvas works that unmasks the inside of the canvas.


The top floor attempts to move Ci Kim’s studio to the exhibition space with the artist’s paint cans, dried paint brushes, ladle, big basin used to mix cement, stripped off tape and other materials used to create works as well as rain boots, a scale, shopping bags, mails from friends and other personal objects of the artist curated on a 8 meter long pedestal. Across this work are landscape photographs that Ci Kim has taken in Jeju-do, Cheonan and Seoul when it rained.


Dutch cultural theorist Johan Huizinga (1872∼1945), in his book, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture (1938) asserts that human civilization began with ‘playing,’ and referred to the playing entities who go beyond the daily mundanity through the act of play ‘Homo Ludens’ – Playing Human. This exhibition offers a look into Kim’s unique artistic vision and lifestyle, wherein he enjoys and plays, loving wildflowers that bear no name, just like all the works Kim has produced throughout his career.
Installation Views