Ilhwa Kim

Selected by Maui: Ilhwa Kim

Ilhwa Kim (b. 1967) is a South Korean contemporary artist who is known for her abstract sculptural landscapes created from tens of thousands of seed units. She creates each single one of these seed units by drawing a combination of straight lines and circles onto traditional Korean Hanji paper after which she hand dyes each one of them with a unique color, whereafter she cuts them and rolls the layers of Hanji paper to make them rigid.

Her work arises by tuning in into what is present around her, as she explains: “Rather than imposing my own stories, I prefer to begin by listening to the whisper of my seeds. Working with my seeds, they begin to form their own presence.” As she explains more about her proces: “The surface of the seed mass keeps changing, sometimes they show a hill, a stream… a street, even a space station.” Kim: “For the complete freedom of my sculpture, each of my seed pieces has the basic components of real life architecture. Straight line, circle and height. ‘…’ The work becomes a small piece of natural architecture, due to the seeds’ inherent real life architecture. Together they start forming their own landscape.

“White Portrait 22”

The viewer can see her landscapes from a far, looking more like a map, and having a completely different view and different experience, compared to a close up view, when you are wandering more in the landscape. And just like a real life landscape is formed of different parts, sometimes a city, sometimes a forest, but always filled with life’s essence, Ilhwa Kim’s work also consists of different energetic waves. Not only forms her work literally waves because of the different lengths of her ‘paper seeds’ , each element of her landscape contains a unique vibrational wave: she uses bold and dense colors on her hand created rolls that are firmly closed, without using any glue, different from the handmade Korean ‘Hanji’ papers created from the mulberry tree, representing a tender and soft energy.

“Space Station 4”

We are truly amazed by Ilhwa Kim’s ability to capture so beautifully and gracefully life’s energy into her art pieces.
Ilhwa Kim’s artworks take you to another place, and let you experience the story that the piece has to tell. Through its movements and vibrations it lets you wander around in moments of time that has passed, but that lives on in her work forever.

You can find more work of Ilhwa Kim here, on and her instagram!

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Saturday March 12th, 2022
Thursday January 27th, 2022



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