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Arts Council Korea (ARKO) presents “Gyre,” a solo exhibition by Yunchul Kim at the Korean Pavilion in Venice. The show, curated by Young-chul Lee, includes a series of five large-scale kinetic installations and a site-specific wall drawing reflecting Kim’s transdisciplinary practice spanning art, literature, mythology, philosophy and science. The works reflect three themes: "The Swollen Suns," "The Path of Gods," and "The Great Outdoors."
“The Swollen Suns” conveys the swelling and scattering of the sun at the end of its life and the emergence of new planets from its debris; “The Path of Gods” is derived from the traditional Chinese characters (신경神經), literally translated as “divine pathways;” “The Great Outdoors” presents the remnants and symptoms of a world in such dynamic flow that it transcends all possible forms of perception.
Kim’s installations of nameless materials in kinetic entanglement echo the bodily-lived universe amid invisible paradigm shifts and constant reinvention. They present a flowing lens through which to view reality, where all things disperse and combine as boundaries swell and blur. The site-specific drawing Gyre (2022) illustrates Kim’s view of the “world as a labyrinth” through the “world of materials” in an interaction beyond meaning, each form with respect to itself. There are references to mathematical calculation, material cascades, ritualistic vestiges, mythological symbols, cosmic and fluid swirls, and even the blueprint of the installation itself. The monumental Argos – the Swollen Suns (2022) comprises hundreds of glass tubes which flash with light while detecting and displaying imperceptible muon particles. Detection triggers the movement of the 50-meter-long Chroma V (2022), a serpentine sculpture in the center of the pavilion which breathes and pulses like a nervous system as it receives signals.
La Poussière de Soleils (2022) is a living vermiculite sculpture which controls the wavelength of light in relation to its own density. Impulse (2018), an adaptation of an existing work, pumps Venetian seawater through hundreds of tubes intertwined about the sculpture, connecting the materials within the pavilion to the world of materials without. Flare (2014) seals two transparent liquids with different properties and gleaming densities in glass rods which are rotated by three motors and swirled like silvery flames. Kim rematrializes the Korean Pavilion as a living body through which the works flow and meld like vessels and nerves.
An accompanying catalog for the exhibition will launch in September 2022 with an artist talk and performance.