Kim Tae-Ho - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale Hong Kong Saturday, November 26, 2016 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Coined by many critics as a 'meticulous artisan', Kim Tae-Ho deviates from the common grammar of paint-making yet shows a reversion to painterly qualities in line with the aesthetics of monochromatic painting. Kim’s pursuits until now may be grouped into three distinctive periods. From the 1970s to the middle of the 1980s, he created cold formal paintings weaving illusionary figures and organic images together with inorganic grinds. Working with rice paper on canvas from that period to the 1990s, he created an exquisite interweaving texture by scratching, pushing and wrinkling the paper, deconstructing visual forms and bringing out the luminosity of various colours that were veiled. This play between the materiality of paper and pigments saw the beginning of his Internal Rhythm series.

    Characterised by his brush strokes and panorama of colours painted in thick layers, Kim explains, 'First, I drew a line on a canvas. And then, with even breath and order, I applied paints with brush strokes on it, which accumulated into a pile of paint layers. Usually, when I cut through the surface of the layers of 20 or more colours with a palette knife, the colours hidden underneath come alive, and they carry both the internal rhythm and the external composition.' (Kim Tae-Ho in “Artist’s Note”, Art in Culture, 2001, 5, p.78) In this lot, fine vertical and horizontal threads are arranged in a precise grid and in between these lines, the ‘rift’ of particles reveal corpuscle rooms of different sizes, existing not as an individual room but as a larger unity immanent within the space. Each room is expressively filled with blue, and furthermore with a patch of midnight blue, eventually fading out into varying tints of red, ochre, green and dark blue at the edge. Kim reveals these rooms to us naturally without disclosing their beings at once, from meticulous planning in the beginning to the process of building somewhat freely, piling up layers of paints as a honeybee builds its house with beeswax. Creating an effect of disclosing yet concealing the small rooms at once from the external layer to the innermost layer of paint, colours unknown, in glimpses here and there, are revealed hiding behind the exterior brilliancy. Through cutting the material (colour pigments) on the surface, Kim makes an attempt to bring the whole work thoroughly from the ‘internal’ and opens up the surface composition externally, only to be built up and broken down again in a repetitive process, creating a sense of rhythm that could not be attained otherwise.

    Developing his ‘internal rhythm’ in the late 1990s, it was a time where Kim’s personal history maintained a certain level of security and balance despite the ups and downs of politics and economics. The corpuscle rooms, the gaps, that emerges from the grid connotes this sense of security and happiness that the artist and society enjoyed at the time. Symbolically covering the entire surface through taking his body as the pigments, Kim’s act of erasing becomes one that does not remain on a conceptual level, but is elevated as an important task in relation to his own body; and as Japanese art critic Zibashikeo remarks, 'attains something from beyond the flat surface of material.' (Zibashikeo, Tae-Ho Kim solo exhibition catalogue, Tokyo Gallery, 2002)

Property of an Important Asian Collector


Internal Rhythm 2005-21

signed, titled and dated 'Kim Tae-Ho Internal Rhythm 2005-21 [in English and Hanja] 2005' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
162.3 x 130.7 cm. (63 7/8 x 51 1/2 in.)
Painted in 2005.

HK$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for HK$750,000

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 27 November 2016