It’s his first lone show in U.S. museum

"A Rock That Was Taught It Was a Bird" 2010. Kim Beom. Stone, wood, wooden table, single channel video on 12-inch flat monitor (1 hr., 27 min., 30 sec.); approx. 146.8 x 220.5 x 127.7 cm (overall). © Kim Beom. Photo by Park Myung-Rae

     (AAPNW) – With an expressive vocabulary that relies on deadpan humor, absurdist enunciation, poetry and childlike imagery, museum goers will see in the “Kim Beom: Objects Being Taught They Are Nothing But Tools” exhibition that opens at the Cleveland Museum of Art on Sunday, November 14, artist Beom’s perception of the world by bringing reality and imagination closer together. His work comprises the visual tradition of illusionism, however lures the viewer into thoughtful participation on how one relates art with meaning.

     Three installations feature everyday utensils and explore the cultural and psychological dynamics between pupil and teacher. The 2010 works, “Objects Being Taught They Are Nothing But Tools”, “A Rock That Was Taught It Was a Bird” and “A Rock That Learned the Poetry of Jung Jiyong” are staged in a darkened room that provokes the illusion that the objects are animated with human traits. Kim has said, “In a world where nature, humans and objects exist, I am very interested in the attributes and status of tools that also possess a sort of vitality, but one that is different from the vitality of living things. … I want to seek alternative definitions of life by studying these objects that contain human ideals. … In the process, certain confusion arises and such animistic elements interest me.” In these installations, Kim also hints at the Korean educational system as a channel of social repression and contrasts it with the rich exchange of ideas that art allows. Also, videos show teachers lecture the inanimate objects, encourage the transformation.

“Objects Being Taught They Are Nothing But Tools” (detail), 2010. Daily objects, wooden chairs, blackboard with fluorescent light, wooden tables, single channel video on TV monitor (21 min., 8 sec.); approx. 165.5 x 427.5 x 230 cm (overall). © Kim Beom. Photo by Park Myung-Rae

"Objects..." full view

    Among the exhibited drawings, the “Blueprints and Perspectives” series he began in 2002, is the largest group that represent functional buildings plans as well as take the form of technical architectural proposals. In the exteriors, overall they reflect a sense of serenity and perfection, but the narrative that Kim details in the interiors results in the suppression of freedom, where the protagonists are emotionless humans acting mechanically. Artist Boem blends both an architectural design with narrative illustration in childlike, comic-strip styles, in which the imaginary world takes its cue from Korean history and the country’s strained present-day politics.

     The artist will walk visitors through the show on its opening night, Friday, November 12 at 7:30 pm, and the scheduled three lectures are scheduled in 2011: Wednesday, January 19 at 6:30 pm; Saturday, February 12 at 2:30 pm; and Wednesday, February 16 at 6:30 pm is all free. For more information, call 888-CMA-0033 or see

About – Kim Boem was born in 1963 and lives and works in Seoul, Korea. Educated at Seoul National University (MFA, 1988) and at the School of Visual Arts in New York (MFA, 1991), he has shown in international solo exhibitions since 1994, with the most recent one-person exhibition was a large presentation of work at Artsonje Center in Seoul in 2010 that was accompanied by a comprehensive monograph. His work has been featured in several international exhibitions, including the 1997 and 2002 Gwangju Biennales, the 2003 Istanbul Biennial, the 2005 Venice Biennale in the Korean Pavilion and significant surveys of contemporary Asian and Korean art, such as Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in 2009.

Published by on October 2010. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide, At the Museums dept, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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