Emerging visual artist HeeSoo Kim is presenting new self-portraits as part of a solo exhibition called “The Other Side of My Mind” at everyday mooonday gallery in Seoul, South Korea. The acrylic on canvas works spotlight a cast of diverse, dispirited human figures set against black backgrounds. A nameless subject is blindfolded in one work while another figure’s mouth is forcibly covered by a stranger’s hand protruding from the right side of the composition in a different piece. With these downcast characters, Kim attempts to probe the “negative side of our individual hearts and minds living the ‘unusual life’ in the recent months of the pandemic,” as per a statement from the gallery.
“For some time, we have forced ourselves into being a positive existence in our society. The moment ‘I’ am isolated into a fragmented piece of the island from the mainland, we call ‘society’, ‘I’ am bombarded with judgments and rumors. We have used our energy diligently pleasing the eyes of others only showing the positive side of us. That energy we use within the mind is now worn out with cracks and gaps we didn’t even notice. We are simply pretending that all is fine, surviving each day, day by day. I know myself best, I am my sole guardian, therefore, I am my responsibility, listen to my heart and take care of me,” explained the artist.
Born and raised in Seoul, Kim’s practice features fragmented figurations and drawings that navigate issues of self-identification and social crises. His muted compositions recall the cubist portraits of Pablo Picasso and 16th-century chiaroscuro techniques as she employs strong contrasts between light and dark to achieve a sense of volume. “Kim’s works are like self-portraits of this infinitely repeating darkness in our daily lives. Reflecting and mirroring the characters in his work with yourself, take a breather and ask your heart and darkness if all is in fact fine? The moment you act in reflection becomes a path of emotional release to you, living in these precarious times.”
View select works in the slideshow above and then visit everyday mooonday gallery’s website to learn more. “The Other Side of My Mind” is on view until January 10, 2021.
everyday mooonday gallery