Art Asia PacificOctober 1, 2003
Presenting eight works by Shanghai-born artist Jian-Jun Zhang, and eleven by Paris-based Korean artist In-Hyung Kim, the exhibition transported the viewer from the barren concrete desert that is New York’s Tribeca into a lush and lively garden of waters, rocks, plants and flowers.
The gallery’s entry way was dedicated to sumi-ink works y Jian-Jun Zhang. Two pieces from a series entitled Water came out of the thirty-five panel installation recently completed in Houston. The dense yet soft, fluid yet contoured compositions epitomized the element. Water’s playful splashes, currents, and drops, and its innate balancing of clarity and opacity are conveyed animatedly. Paired with vividly textured depictions of scholar’s rocks form the ongoing sumi-ink Garden of Re-Creation project, these works conjured up both the physical and spiritual setting of a Chinese garden.
Adjacent to Zhang’s calligraphic world was that of In-Hyung Kim’s thick, lush and vibrant depictions of undergrowth. Despite their density, Kim’s untitled acrylic paint compositions did not seem restrained or struggling to escape form within the confines of the picture plane. Rather, these works take you to a cool hideaway from the heat of a summer’s day with light peaking in as if trying to disturb the internal reverie. The subtle gradations of green tones, interspersed with brightly colored flowers as opulent and plump as ripe fruit, make the scene one warm enclosure.
Despite the similarity in theme, the source of the show’s dynamic lay in the subtle balancing of differences. Both artists worked with concepts of the organic, however Zhang’s ascetic black and white compositions visualized a different approach from Kim’s strong colors and density. The bold yet measured brushwork of Zhang’s scholar’s rocks offset Kim’s tumultuous yet refined strokes. While Kim and Zhang have been working closely with Art Projects International almost from its inception, this was the first time that their works were shown jointly–a truly celebratory combination.
–Xenia Tetmajer Von Przerwa