IF YOU SEE ME
                   NOW
YOU DON’T



SANG WOO KIM

January 13 - February 12, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, January 13, 6 - 9 PM


MB Gallery is pleased to announce Sang Woo Kim’s first solo exhibition, IF YOU SEE ME NOW YOU DON’T. This exhibition comprises a body of new paintings, photography and video work that reflect the artist’s layered conception of identity.


In this exhibit Kim looks at a much discussed and relevant topic, first generation immigrants and their struggle with cultural duality. He brings awareness to this conflict and expresses it poetically and also with a sense of irony and humor. His aim is to surprise the viewer and cause a disruption that allows people to truly “see”.


Sang Woo Kim was raised in London with traditional Korean parents. He always felt “other” to the people around him, whom were mainly of Western descent. Alienating cultural factors affected him from a very young age. At home a cognitive dissonance arose from a drastically different daily school life. With this new body of work he is confronting these memories through a recontextualization of old works. He literally builds up and breaks down boundaries to create a visual “skin” composed of nostalgia and recollections.


The emotional realisation of his fractured identity imbues the works with a newfound purpose that he subversively exploits through his various facades. Identity takes on new connotations in the modern social media world, where one’s persona is a multi-layered construct and can be created out of thin air. The question inherent in Kim’s work is what constitutes identity and how much of it is “real”?


Kim’s paintings are abstract and textured, capturing a similar emotional brutality that was present in artworks from the 1950’s abstract expressionist era. The blurred lines and varying textures remove the identity of the subject. He purposefully uses abstraction as a means to communicate detached melancholy content. Text drawn on his painting, “Easy on the eye” reads, I was blind when I was younger, and conflates seeing and being seen, the subject and the voyeur. Kim’s paintings suggest that the gaze comes from within and is tied to one’s identity and until one can cultivate it, one will always view himself and the world self consciously.






Cry trying
Mixed media on canvas
120 x 150 cm
2016




Cry trying II
Mixed media on canvas
150 x 120 cm
2016




Try crying
Mixed media on canvas
150 x 70 cm
2016




Rub them
Mixed media on canvas
150 x 120 cm
2016




Untitled
Mixed Media on Canvas
40 x 42 cm
2016




Please
Pigment transfers, oil stick and acrylic on canvas in blaack metal frame
41 x 31 cm
2016




Nothing more
Mixed media on canvas
150 x 120 cm
2016




I was blind for 10 and I lied for 12
Mixed media on canvas
150 x 120 cm , 150 x 120 cm
2016




Decontexualize me ( Please )
Mixed media on canvas
150 x 120 cm
2016




Self-portrait
Mixed media on canvas
64 x 49 cm
2013




Easy on the eye
Mixed media on canvas
150 x 120 cm
2016




Shut the front door
Mixed media on canvas
150 x 120 cm
2016

Me, now
Stop-motion animation of 77 unique pigment transfers on canvas,, digital video  
2017




If you see me now you don’t
77 unique pigment transfers on canvas, installation
300 x 500 cm
2016