Ho Jae Kim

April 1, 2021
Tell us about your practice.
Purgatory is a non-space, a place before heaven or hell – it is a place of nowhere. The labeling of purgatory suggests a space that is neither here nor there but somewhere; it is a liminal dimension. Beyond the religious, there are many moments of purgatory in our everyday lives, like places we find ourselves constantly waiting, between destinations. Without a clear sense of location, 
we lose our bearing and our sense
of self. Unlike movies that are saturated with colors and excitement, many people endure desaturated timelapses, composed of unexciting conflicts that seem everlasting. Desaturation is more relatable, and the usage of mundane objects allows the paintings to become representations of the larger demographic. Contents of the paintings are allusions or anecdotes that recall the idea of the liminal.
What has been inspiring you lately?
Originally, the theme of purgatory was a cerebral concept. However, during the pandemic, I became a character inside what was once a distant concept. The purgatory, very apparently, became my immediate reality. My direct affiliation motivated me to add figures to the picture plane. I’ve been experimenting with figures ever since. 
My preferred reading: Crime and Punishment, Notes from Underground, 1Q84, Metamorphosis, The Castle, Devil in the White City, American Psycho, Don Quixote, etc. Favorite Artists: Magritte, Piero della Francesca, Mark Manders, Fischli & Weiss, Kerry James Marshall, Dominique Fung, Jasper Johns, Hokusai, Nam June Paik, Hiroshi Sugimoto, William Kentridge, Kathe Kollwitz.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently experimenting with figures and Ukiyo-e is a huge reference to how to represent figures. Currently, I am planning to paint with multiple figures in a single picture plane. I believe that the process of depicting multiple figures and their relationships to one another will open up new possibilities and challenges.

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