Writing in white

- an exhibition by Myoung Nam Kim at Prism

Of reflection, refraction and transformation, memory and identity - a virtual exhibition at Prism by Myoung Nam Kim.

Myoung Nam Kim’s Writing in white, is a deeply meditative experience that examines multiple layers in the process of creation, from careful overall observation to the type of material chosen and the inclusion of tacit records like lines and punctuation marks, generated by the protrusion of paper to format visually striking landscapes. Working primarily with hanji and Korean ink, there is in Myoung Nam Kim's work both stillness and restraint through which there pulsates a certain captivating rhythm and powerful energy. The resultant artwork created is, as the art critic Philippe Piguet, eloquently states, ‘an immaculately pure and peaceful spiritual landscape that blocks the visual verbiage of our times, leading us to an extraordinarily meditative space, an indescribable place of isolation. As a poet once lyrically stated, that place is ‘filled with order, beauty, luxury, peace and sensuality’.

While physical doors of gallery spaces remain closed, virtual doors have opened. Following the opening of Prism, InKo Centre's virtual gallery, we are delighted to present Writing in white, a specially commissioned virtual exhibition by Korean artist, Myoung Nam Kim who creates unique artworks that exude both stillness and pulsating energy, harmoniously combining the versatility of hanji and the fluidity of Korean ink.

Comprising a virtual walkthrough, a film about the artist's work process and a comprehensive list of relevant artworks, the exhibition invites you on a journey of discovery of the aesthetic beauty of Korean hanji and ink.

In the words of the artist, Myoung Nam Kim:

I mainly work with hanji and with Korean ink. For my exhibition Writing in white, I made traces and perforations with tools and sewed together the different parts with white thread.

To me, Hanji represents the Earth and the hardiness, sensitivity and subtle thinking of one’s spirit. This translucent paper symbolises meekness with the power to uplift!

With Korean ink, I can paint my interior scenery which naturally comes out of my memories. I tell my story in this way in my "Writing in white" artworks. Then, my brush full of ink dances on Hanji, producing rhythm, harmony and nuance. The Ink shades that are like the Earth and the white and translucent Hanji paper, which is like the huge misty skies are the language of my poetic landscapes that invite spectators to enter into a dialogue with the drawing and the words.

Hanji and Korean ink are my roots and thanks to this firm grounding, I am stand upright and stay upbeat, always!

After being diagnosed with glaucoma, I stopped painting with colours. However, I often strongly feel like painting the way I did in the past! I find that I need to go back to the times when I draw with Korean ink, a practice that I have fondly nurtured since childhood when I learnt Korean and Chinese calligraphy and Sumukhwa or Ink wash painting that uses black ink and monochromatic tones with great emphasis on virtuoso brushwork to convey the perceived "spirit" or "essence" of a subject.

My exhibition Writing in white, does not need a lot of explanation because my language is similar to a daily bout of silent contemplation. What can I explain? I hope that, when looking at my works, and even as I cannot really reproduce the sounds I heard when working, one can "read" these words and feel these sounds.

On the other hand, the variable lights lead to many different feelings but, if there is empathy and communication, nothing more can be desired. These works of paper too will one day return to Nature...


Photograph credits: Francine Minvielle, Yanshe Cui, Eric Berrué, Kyung im Choi, Park Jong ho, Pierre Guilloteau, Sekyon Oh, Myoung Nam Kim.

About the artist - Myoung Nam Kim

Born in 1961 in Jinju, South Korea, Myoung Nam Kim lives and works in Paris and Seoul. She has since 2000, been Professor of Engraving at the School of Fine Arts of Versailles. Since 1985, Myoung Nam Kim has participated in solo and group exhibitions in many countries - Europe, Korea, USA, Japan, China, Taiwan and India. She participated in the SAGA, ART COLOGNE, ART PARIS, KIAF (Seoul), ART EDITION (Seoul) fairs and illustrated 6 books: "Vie Saxifrage" at Al Manar Editions, "Temps Solaire", "Demeures de Mots et de Nuit", "Writing and painting above the night of words" by Editions Voix d'Encre. "Passeurs de Rive" by Editions La tête à versa, "Enjamber la rivière" by Editions Daniel Leuwers. Her works are present in the collections of the General Council of Yvelines, the City of Ermont, the City of Ulsan in Korea, Seoul (Art Bank, Art Edition, Geumcheon district) and the Korean Embassies in France and Greece. Since 2012, Myoung Nam Kim hosted and participated in numerous conferences in Korea, India and Paris at the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts Paris: In search of light, Writing in White (Ecriture Blanches).


Design and production of the video: Pierre Guilloteau.
Performance: Myoung Nam Kim.
Construction: Louis Mangin and Célie Peyrard.
Footage: Françoise Lever
Voices and music: Naori Group