Kim Beom: Objects Being Taught They Are Nothing But Tools
The Cleveland Museum of Art presents the first solo museum exhibition in the United States of the work of Korean artist Kim Beom. The exhibition includes three new mixed-media installations and selections of drawings from 1994 to the present. It will be on view in the museum's 1,800-square-foot project gallery from November 13, 2010, until March 6, 2011.
With an expressive vocabulary that relies on deadpan humor, absurdist enunciation, poetry, and childlike imagery, Kim investigates our perception of the world by bringing reality and imagination closer together. By referencing animistic notions by which artists ascribe a spiritual core to individual works, as well as 20th-century avant-gardes that mined the human subconscious and practiced a kind of social awareness, Kim's work has developed around the visual tradition of illusionism. In particular, Kim inspires the viewer to come closer and become actively engaged—or even entangled—in the projection of images and thoughts. Fusing the position of artist and docent, and merging the art object with the larger social field, these works stand for how we invest art with meaning. This exhibition introduces the viewer to Kim's multifaceted work in a variety of media, as well as his continued reflection on Korean society and its recent history.
Kim was born in 1963 in Seoul, where he currently lives and works. He obtained a BFA and an MFA from Seoul National University in 1986 and 1988, respectively, and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1991. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions internationally, as well as in the 2003 Istanbul Biennial and the 2005 Venice Biennale, and in recent surveys of contemporary art from Korea.