South Korean artist Ilhwa Kim makes intricate compositions made of tens of thousands of rolled, hand-dyed mulberry paper pieces. Using Hanji paper in greens, blues, pinks and yellow, she binds the paper into small rectangular forms. The artist calls the individual rolls “seeds” and considers them microcosms within her larger cosmographies. Pushing back on the distinction between sculpture and painting, Kim creates compositions that hang together from a distance while pulling the viewer into an intricate topographical surface texture. These seeds are lodged tightly on the surface, pushing and pulling, creating tensions and stories beyond what a viewer might see at first glance. Kim’s work recalls the intricate ecosystems of coral reefs or kelp forests from aerial perspectives or the enigmatic stills of microfauna seen under a microscope. Referring to the pieces as “living architecture” the artist captures subtle movement in her work, scenes that convey breath, breeze, and sway. “I create artworks that combine sculpture and painting in order to explore the richness, dynamism, and depth of sensory experience on canvas,” says Kim. “These layered, entangled, and ever-evolving sensory experiences, happening in a world defined by nature’s infinite possibilities, are what I strive to capture in my works.”
Image: Fragile Surface - Blue Peacock 6 2023, Unravelled fabric, wooden frame. 解かれた織物, 木枠, 61.5 x 38.5 cm. Image above: Ghost in Indigo (detail) 2023, Unraveled fabric designed by the artist, embroidery with the extracted threads from the fabric, wooden frame. Fabric development and production by TextielMuseum | TextielLab - Tilburg, the Netherlands. Created during Majhi International Art Residency 2023 organized by Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation (DBF). 解かれた織物（作家によるデザイン、多色の縦糸）, 織物から引き抜かれた糸で刺繍, 木枠, H.138.5 x W.180 x D.6 cm.
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