Bo Kim uses natural elements that eventually wither and vanish with time as her art materials and tools, and she also speaks on “reason and logic” that cannot transcend time and gravity. Through the grids in the non-sculptural series where she layers hanji on the edges and surface of the canvas, Kim reflects on the trace of time, natural deterioration and extinction that does not counter the course of nature, and accumulation.
Bo Kim graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) with a degree in fine art. Kim shows the process and result of her enlightenment from the beauty of “impermanence” discovered in natural order and Buddhist teachings. The artist’s study on impermanence began when she noticed that pieces of plaster had fallen off from one of her works. The fragments that fell off became a part of the original artwork, as they aligned with the artist’s visualization of the concept of impermanence in Buddhism. Kim collects objects in nature that transform over time and integrates them into her work. Time-specific images she collected are the main resource for visualization in her paintings. The act of painting on the first layer of hanji (Korean mulberry paper) represents her recording of vivid memories from that day, and the colors applied on the paper gradually soften and lighten as they seep in over time. Bo Kim seeks to create a relaxing and solemn space where she can invite viewers to meditate and engage in a moment of introspection with her.
Bo Kim collects objects from nature that change over time and integrates them into her work. Her early series titled Impermanence was created by spreading a mixture of sand, plaster, oil paint, and acrylic paint on canvas with a window screen over it, and then removing the screen. When the screen was removed from the canvas, pieces of the applied mixture fell off with it, which the artist kept as a part of the work as a representation of the beauty of impermanence. This exhibition also presents paintings made with materials from nature. The theme of imperfection was adopted again, but the window screen was replaced with the act of layering hanji, paint, and sand on the canvas. Kim wrapped and conserved the remnants of nature-derived materials with hanji to reflect the aesthetics of ever-changing nature’s impermanence. Bo Kim’s new works point out that our consciousness unconsciously searches for something eternal, even when we know that everything in the world will not cease to change.