Philippe Hyojung Kim makes paintings and paint-made objects that get to the heart of paint-as-material, that gooey viscous stuff with which we make paintings. A painting, he writes, is "a paint-made-view— an always simulated view that weaves the physical world around and within on the same plane." His work exists in the physical world and often references aspects of living IRL— from the cast objects of TYPOLOGY OF ABSENCE to the quasi-scientific presentation of SMALL BLUBBERS. Philippe's paintings are, at their core, uncannily strange and oddly familiar. "I always saw the world a little differently," he says. "Queerly, if you will."
TYPOLOGY OF ABSENCE is a 2018 series of cast latex paintings made from everyday objects and refuse. It is an examination of absence— that gnawing sensation of something having been present— and the particularities of the void left behind. In the image above, a painting has been cast from an egg carton and manipulated until it is alien, but not quite unfamiliar. In a passage describing his process, Philippe writes:
POUR THE PAINT, MIX THE PAINT, ADD MORE PAINT;
SMELL THE PAINT, SEE THE PAINT, FEEL THE PAINT;
RESPOND, RE-RESPOND, RE-RE-RE-RESPOND;
Play and humor are central to these paintings, as evidenced by 2018's GRAVITY JOKES. The dull orange latex "cast" shadow is a hilarious painting one-liner if there ever was one. And then there's the bathroom humor of the dayglo toilet bowl behind it. "There's anxiety and catharsis in my work," he says, "but the final experience is fun."
SMALL BLUBBERS (2016) is an earlier series of 2-D relic-like poured latex pieces that seem to have been generative of much of his more recent bodies of work. They appear like oddities in a natural history display the way each has been mounted in a faux-Victorian IKEA frame. The title SMALL BLUBBERS alludes to paint's inevitable fleshiness and physicality.
Follow along on Instagram to see what's next for Philippe! @philippepirrip