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Magical realism

Life imitates art. But for most artistes, art stems from personal experiences. Korean artist Kim Seola, who will display her works in her debut solo exhibition, Momentary Sonorant, in India, delves into her childhood memories to seek inspiration.

As an adolescent, Seola witnessed the transformation of her hometown, Yousu-si, into a city and with that the shift in the physical landscapes as well as human values. While the leafy, tree-lined paths were replaced with traffic signals, the beautiful mountains were hidden behind tall structures. This affected her deeply.


One of Seola’s untitled works, which she painted during her residency at The Collective Studio

She says, “I witnessed my hometown’s metamorphosis as a silent observer with empathy and anguish. My two-dimensional paintings are akin to an infinite void where I have never been before, and which is where I want to examine my reality through a multi-layered mosaic of memories.”

Her subjects are often common symbols from nature such as wood, ashes and feather which reveal greater existential truths. Her work celebrates the timeless beauty of nature while also being palpable with the tensions that human beings’ reckless interventions can cause. She says, “My experience with nature has informed me with a wider spiritual understanding of life and a deeper poetic comprehension of the universe. I see ashes whose forms exist as twisted shapes and wood-shavings that resonate with the sounds of scraping the skin of the tree long after the act itself.”


Korean artist Kim Seola

After attaining a bachelor degree in painting from South Korea, she came to study art in India. After a year at the Delhi College of Arts, she attained a masters degree in painting from MS University in Baroda. Since 2011, she has lived and worked at The Collective Studio (TCS), a studio for young artists, and received intensive tutorage from Rekha Rodwittiya and Surendran Nair. Seora, who is now a resident artist at TCS, says, “Rodwittiya and Nair are my teachers and mentors for my art and life. Their philosophies give me a space of learning to be truthful to the ideals of my art practice, and to understand the notions of optimism and hope, as a human being.”

All the works that will be on display at the exhibition have been painted by Seola during the residency at TCS.

The 30-year-old is upbeat about exhibiting her works for the first time in India. “I’m excited and looking forward to the various interactions
that hopefully ensue,” she concludes.

When: August 3-21, 11 am to 7 pm
Where: Sakshi gallery, Synergy Art Foundation Ltd, 6/19, Grants Building, 2nd Floor, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba
CALL: 66103424 

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