Deconstructing forms

By Lee Woo-young

Artist Kim In-bai presents new geometrical sculptures for the reopening of Arario Gallery Seoul

  • Published : Mar 6, 2014 - 20:34
  • Updated : Mar 6, 2014 - 20:34
Artist Kim In-bai is presenting faceless, abstract sculptures in his solo exhibition celebrating the reopening of Arario Gallery Seoul.

Titled “Eliminate Points, Lines and Planes,” the exhibition seeks to break stereotypes of human figures. Instead of faces or heads for his human forms, the artist used geometrical forms.

His latest works, shown seven years after his first exhibition at Arario in 2007, look edgier than his previous sculptures, which had round faces. They are a combination of geometrical forms and muscular body structures. The eyes, nose and mouth are missing from the triangular or quadrilateral heads. His works are displayed in a classic fashion: They are placed on tall plinths as if they are ancient sculptures at the British Museum or the Louvre. 
Installation view of Kim In-bai exhibition. (Arario Gallery)

The bust, titled “Gendarloake,” takes the form of two 3-D inverted triangles which converge at the bottom.

“I expressed whatever I felt after imagining a face without eyes. I concentrated on how lines create planes and angles,” said the artist at the press preview of his exhibition on Wednesday at the newly reopened gallery.

Kim said he intended to create contrasts through the presentation of his works in the two exhibition rooms.

In the basement, his sculptures have been arranged to create the ambience of an ancient Greek or Egyptian temple. A male human figure whose face is a wide triangle sits on a tall rectangular platform as if he is the ruler, and sculptures with minimal faces are displayed on both sides.

“There are two sides to it. First, the image of the figures and their arrangement intend to look intimidating and dominant. But the sculptures are quite the opposite. Their hands are cut off, replaced by round balls. They are in no position to intimidate anyone. I guess this can be seen as the denial of established systems like religion,” Kim said.

While the sculptures in the bright white room have unmistakably geometrical shapes, those in a darker room on the second floor are abstract. The ambiguous titles of the busts are taken from the artist’s first impressions of his works.

The exhibition runs until April 13 at Arario Gallery Seoul in Bukchon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul.

For more information, call (02) 541-5701.

By Lee Woo-young (wylee@heraldcorp.com)