Hwigyeong – 揮景 series, Juree Kim (2011). soil and water.
Place and Practices, Juree Kim, (2017).
Kim works primarily with clay, performance and film to explore the themes surrounding social and natural environments with a focus upon Korean cultural identity. Kim’s artistic work and research mirrors Brownsword’s concerns due to her observations on the destruction of regions within Eastern Seoul as a result off gentrification and the displacement of local communities and skills.
V&A Artist Residency
When making my pots I’d considered ways in which I could destroy them in order to convey trauma, and had spoken about smashing them, however this felt too directly violent. I’m not looking to undermine or downplay any violence towards women, but smashing the ceramic forms doesn’t highlight subtle & unseen trauma women experienced which lead to the period of silence and shame. Kim Juree’s process of ‘melting’ unfired clay into water to represent the destruction of traditional architecture throughout Eastern Seoul is both effective and interesting to observe. I feel I can understand her frustrations and the urgency of the situation.
While I was at the V&A I took the opportunity to find out as much as I could about Juree Kim’s work and her residency. I found her studio up on the sixth floor and viewed the work she had displayed in the windows. It was interesting seeing the small pieces leftover from past work, of experiments and process.
Moving over to the Korean Ceramics exhibition I finally saw her piece and was surprised at how small it was compared to videos I’d seen online. Despite its size I was still fascinated by the level of detail in the piece, and spent a long while moving around it. It’s a shame it was surrounded by barriers, I felt they were quite ugly and boxed the piece in quite a lot.
If I need to put up barriers for health and safety reasons I’ll definitely be a lot more considered with what kind I choose. I felt the height of the rope being higher than the plinth the work was on was a poor curatorial decision.
Walking around the piece was my favourite aspect of the display, as most of the other items in the exhibition were in glass cases against walls and didn’t offer much of a surrounding view. I enjoyed having different views and more opportunity to really inspect the work as each side offered new crevices to look into.
I do wish I could see the piece actually in water. I’m not sure if the water had been added that morning and had evaporated or been absorbed by the time I arrived in the afternoon. I went in search of a staff member to ask but they were unsure.
On my way out I had another look into Kim’s studio space and found a sign with information about open studios for visitors to drop in – I think I’ll try and visit again in time for one of the last three dates.