By Jonathan Kim
About the exhibition
My art concept was deeply inspired by Korean artist Lee Ufan’s theory of Encounter, in which the interrelation between a thing and its environmental factors is more important than its physical state in the investigation of its sameness and otherness. Lee’s theory profoundly influenced the Japanese sculptural movement Mono-ha and the Korean painting style Dansaekhwa, both of which were contemporaneous with the post-minimalist art movement of the 1970s. Although the art in accordance with Lee’s concept was formally similar to minimalism, it is significant in that it has built a unique aesthetic concept based on East Asian thought. As a result, my early research focused on the process of creating and presenting Gong-gan-seong (my theory of spatiality) for demonstrating the existence and significance of this practice. More recently, the meaning of Gong-gan-seong has been expanded and rediscovered by adopting other post-minimal concepts.
My research is currently trying to identify and distinguish the Gong-gan-seong in two respects: epistemological and structuralist. The reconstructed structures of everyday materials present various interactive relations in my practice, and the cultural elements of the work allow a differentiated approach to audiences who have a related cultural background. Therefore, the ring of epistemological approaches that I am particularly interested in at this stage is ethnic sentiment. In my recent practice, including particular cultural factors, two contrasting approaches, epistemological and structurist, are being invoked in the same work, and I have embarked on a study to identify and control them. I regard that allowing room for an epistemological approach can be one way to communicate spatiality more easily or strongly to the audience, although my practice gives more weight on the structuralist approach.
Explore the exhibition
Meet the artists & curators
Jonathan Kim was born and raised in South Korea and spent most of his 20s in China and 30s in Australia. Like his nomadic life, Kim’s art contains various cultural elements. Kim’s core research places a deep importance on the relationship between a medium and its environmental factors, named as Gong-gan-seong (spatiality), which has been inspired by Korean artist Lee Ufan’s philosophy of Man-nam (Encounter).
Kim was awarded the Constance Gordon-Johnson Sculpture Prize and Linden New Art Award. Kim completed the British School at Rome Residency and Sauerbier House Culture Exchange Artist in Residence and currently works at the ACE Open studio.
Eleanor is an Adelaide-based independent curator and writer. From 2013 – 2019 she was the Visual Arts Program Curator at Country Arts SA, and before that the Visual Arts Coordinator at Tandanya – National Aboriginal Cultural Institute from 2011 – 2013. She has previously held volunteer roles including co-director of FELTspace ARI. She graduated with a Masters in Curatorial and Museum Studies from the University of Adelaide in 2012, and is the current Chair of the Art History and Curatorship Alumni Network, which supports graduates with networking and professional development opportunities. She is a Board member at ACE Open and spent five weeks in Venice in 2015 working in the Australian Pavilion at the Biennale. In 2018 she received a Darling Travel Grant, which saw her travel to the UK and Italy to research community engagement strategies in contemporary art spaces.
Scicchitano’s curatorial practice commonly involves working with artists to explore identity and the body, and the way in which the body is used as a vehicle in contemporary art to challenge and explore who they are. In 2017 she presented I’m a feminist but… at Praxis Artspace, Adelaide, as part of FRAN Fest 2017. It was represented in the Walkway Gallery, Bordertown in 2018. She has previously curated exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, the Australia Experimental Art Foundation, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, FELTspace ARI and Artbank, Sydney.