Kim, In Tae



Substance and space laid on visual-perceptual reality and illusion


Hong Kyung Han / Art critic, Editor



1 . An artist Kim, In Tae’s work is unique in relation to the fact that he emphasizes on the appearance of formative and senses generated from viewers from the materials used. He eventually combines these to generate a chance for viewers to have different perceptions. However the combination is sometimes alienated or coexists in this work and this throws questions of, in what way, they separate or coexist to provide differences in reality coming from visibility and perception created from visibility. His unique way of conveying the meaning of his work – providing artificially created object in a limited space – in some ways, tells us that the visibility is not all about acknowledging since it can change in various forms with each person’s perception received. In detail, it can be interpreted that ‘concepts’ are generated from interaction between individual’s point of view and the mass or from the relationship between different backgrounds of individuals and the object. Kim, In Tae’s art is very special due to his way of expression. For example, he expresses a mass formation created with thousands of pieces of glass to generate the unity and unique meaning hidden in it. He sometimes transforms pixel sized characters into a symbolic shape completed by some sort of repetition. Furthermore, he provides various point of views that makes every viewer has their own opinion on his work. This enables the reality and actuality to explore outside its limited boundary. Looking at the whole picture, his way of expression can be interested as a process that criticize ‘fake’ melted into symbolism and this introduces the virtuality to the traditional viewers who were never able to think of this concept.


2 . There are numerous forms of materials used by artist Kim, In Tae for his pieces of work such as photos that contains popular icons, pictures of images, characters, flower and other objects that can be used for his plane works. For example, Kim’s recent sculpture ‘Compound eye’ alienates spaces around it so it makes viewers curious of the uncommon expression because the spaces around it was generally meant to be harmonized with the shape of sculpture itself. Fundamentally, the physical shape is the frame of it. This means that the shape is initially created by artist’s perception and it’s expressed in his own way of meaning. A good example for this is the glass pieces (Choja-glass) used by him. The lump of glass is created by detailed expressions of tiny pieces of glass in a grid form. However if you look more carefully, the pieces of glass alienate its initial shape and it eventually generates the visibility from invisibility that provides irony and a rate of interest simultaneously. As mentioned before, the glass pices is not only clear and simple material used only to complete the pieces of art. The pieces of glass can be seen as visibility that is initially recognized by viewers eyes – Lucida – but the physical shape of frame is created by viewers perception – invisibility or so called obscura.

  Reality expressed as illusion or actuality transformed into virtuality are the elements that good artists should have. I fare to say that artist Kim’s pieces of work is beyond this quality as his work contains observance in varied forms of time, understanding between continuation and discontinuity, coexistence of unity and variety and the unique expression of visibility and invisibility.


3 . In Artist Kim’s image reproduction work of famous stars such as Barack Obama, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, his way of expression is the same with above explanation. However there is a single difference which is of his more detailed logical explanation and in depth expression of visuality. On the surface, his work might look like a simple re-structure of photos of famous stars just like the common photos and pictures drawn by some of pop-artists. However you never know whether of not his reproduction work includes tiny letters to convey an abundant expression melted within the work unless you look right into it. The tiny characters used in his art work take a role as a ‘detonator’ that reveals hidden but common ideas. This helps Kim to come out of its own limited boundary – visibility. In other words, portrait of the stars can be seen as signifiant. The characters or glass pieces is always dependent since they can be recognized from close only. In other works they can never function independently. However, as you know, the focus here is to express the whole picture frame rather than the little elements used to create it. The appearance is generated from artist’s intention and it sometimes can be defined as memory or experience of artist. Through his work, we can see that Kim did undergo stages of confusion about his identity and hardship coming from the distinction and unique outcome of his work compared to others. The way of conveying his work, thus, would more likely be based on this valuable experience. Some people may think his work as a ‘piece of art’ but it is, to the artist, way more than a piece of art as it contains all of the emotions and experiences that the artist went through. Additionally, his works refuse the relationship between its referent and the object however harmonized appearance and its materials used eventually transform to its own characters that provide different point of view/perception. The characters get coded especially within its own world to create a completed piece of work. This requires a way more dense work.

  The screen art ‘Self viewer’ that consists of a great number of monitors and cameras, is the designated piece of Kim work in which shows his ability and capability.

  ‘Self viewer’ transforms a normality and familiarity of visibility into more independent object to face all the viewers. In the process of it, the artist uses cameras that surrounds the subject and takes shots of front, side and back image of the subject. After that, all the images taken are shown together on all monitors located. At this point, the subject is out of its space time and transforms into perpetuity. Additionally the single image becomes contemplate as if it gains emotions and thoughts. We now need to remember ‘Wesen’ – investigation of true nature. ‘Wesen’ is the subject of the image – the initial object aimed to be expressed. Artist is the only person who knows how the subject is reproduced and gained a new concept. In other words, ‘Wesen’ can be initially transformed into virtual image by the artist. However Kim Tried to interchange this fact based on his concept to create all of his art. Value of art with the beauty created in it are reinforced by Kim to develop his fabulous world of art.


4 . The elements or objects used for his creation : picture images containing photos, glass, reflector and fixed object all lead to ‘virtuality’ that weakens the initial function of the materials and this virtuality is generated from the viewers as well. In certain ways, it can be said that his art introduced a totally new world to viewers that is influenced by cubism - focused on negligence of united space and various point of views. In fact, a three-dimensional sculpture taken into pieces and image pictures that tried to overcome space – time are part of Cubism. Artist Kim’s work was quite subordinated to cubism from the supporting work of his mentioned above as well as his caricature of portraits. (Work of Parnorama in his 2007 private exhibition is greatly influenced by Cubism as well). However current work of his are containing more developed and interacting in terms of expressing coexistence of spaces/layers that eventually generates different point of view. A meaningful fact is that, the various points of view generated by viewers breaks the common routine of knowledge and transform this positively into more sensitive end emotive flow of virtuality.