Hyun Ryoung Kim: Relational Space Catalogue Essay

                                      - Kendra Ainsworth, Curator


Although Hyun Ryoung Kim’s large abstract paintings make bold visual statements, their development stems from a place of quiet introspection and contemplation. An emerging artist based in Mississauga, Kim was drawn to art as a child but did not begin formal study until she emigrated to Canada from Korea as an adult. Since taking classes at Visual Arts Mississauga and pursuing a Fine Arts degree at Sheridan, her work has been featured in exhibitions across Southern Ontario, and she has been recognized as “One to Watch” by the renowned Saatchi galleries.  The AGM’s XIT-RM exhibition presents recent work that allows visitors to delve in to the style and philosophy of a no doubt soon to be celebrated local artist. In her work, Kim explores relationships between colours, shapes, figure and ground in a visual language that is at once intellectual and emotive. Kim aims to depict both the ‘fact’ and the emotion of the world around us; the sensorial as well as the spiritual or ephemeral. With Relational Space, Kim invites us to open up to the infinite possibilities of connection with and exploration of the world around and within us.

One omnipresent element of this world, as it is played out in these spare, ethereal and yet evocative works is a strong black line; a striking contrast against the large expanses of white, and the pale, amorphous blooms of colour that make up the canvas. To Kim, this line is a representation of the force of fate in our lives, which for her is a given - a ‘fact’ - and its incursions on the canvas are emblematic of fate’s interactions with all the ideas, emotions, relationships and events in our lives, made manifest on her canvases in large, gestural, abstract forms.

The black line of fate is juxtaposed with the visual embodiment of the perhaps more capricious and ephemeral aspects of our lives; our fleeting thoughts and desires, our brief encounters. Indeed, both on the plane of the canvas and in life, it often seems that the external momentum of fate threatens to intrude upon these internal, personal elements by force. But in Kim’s work, however unyielding the black line of fate line may be, it sometimes seems thrown off course, veering out of the way of the vibrant ebullience of emotion. We are left with a sense of movement, contrast and change. Our lives are constantly in flux; we constantly course correct based on new information, events, and influences. Kim’s canvases speak to this resilience, mutability and resourcefulness in the face of the monumental and unrelenting.