Young-Bae Kim

Köln Nachrichten

Ausstellung mit Licht, Farbe und Schatten im Stapelhaus


11.03.2012 19:00 von:(ehu)


Schlagwörter: Ausstellungskritik,Stapelhaus,Young-Bae Kim,Tchun Mo Nam,Wasserspiegelung


Young-Bae Kim überzeugt in der BBK-Ausstellung mit gemalten Wasserspiegelungen. Repro: ehu

„Licht und Farbe“ ist der Titel der aktuellen Ausstellung im Stapelhaus. Der BBK zeigt Arbeiten von Young-Bae Kim und Tchun Mo Nam – zwei koreanische Künstler, die schon lange in Deutschland leben und arbeiten, letzterer in Köln.

Tchun Mo Nam präsentiert sich als ein verspäteter, fröhlicher Jünger der Op-Art. Er zeigt vor allem  labyrinth-artige Reliefs, die sich aus einer Vielzahl viereckiger, zum Betrachter hin offenen unregelmäßigen Kästchen zusammensetzen. Das erinnert an Eierkartons, allerdings mit eckigen Vertiefungen. Die unregelmäßigen Schatten, die das schräg einfallende Licht wirft, erzeugen eine lebendige, sich im Laufe der Zeit wechselnde „Landschaften“. Leider sind die Arbeiten hinter Plexiglas geschützt, in dem sich die Umgebung spiegelt und so von den Schattenspielen ablenkt.

Der Maler Young-Bae Kim beeindruckt vor allem mit seinen großformatigen Wasserspiegelungen – Bildausschnitte, die sich allein auf das Spiel von Wellen und Licht  konzentrieren. Erst aus der Entfernung fügen sich die groben und breiten Pinselstrich zu atmosphärisch dichten, der Abstraktion annähernden Bildern zusammen. Diese Ausdruckskraft verliert sich durch die peniblere Malweise etwas, wenn er Licht und Schatten von Pflanzen auf Mauern malt. Auch das strahlt Atmosphäre aus, die allerdings die romantische Verklärung mit Hang zum Kitsch streift.

„Licht und Farbe – Young-Bae Kim und Tchun Mo Nam“ – bis 23.3., BBK Köln, Stapelhaus, Frankenwerft 35, 50667 Köln-Altstadt, Mo-Fr 10-13 und 14-17 Uhr, Di bis 19 Uhr, Eintritt frei, Tel. 0221 / 258 21 13. Weitere Informationen finden sie auch im Internet




Chicago Tribune


Youngbae Kim is a contemporary Korean painter who lives in Germany and takes inspiration from such masters of stillness and contemplation as Johannes Vermeer and Vilhelm Hammershoi. His representational paintings at the Andrew Bae Gallery indicate he has learned well from his august models.

Some of the oil paintings include a figure, seen from behind studying a landscape, engaged in unspecified activity under a portico or looking out toward viewers. The images are no less ably executed than the others on view, yet their spell is less concentrated. The artist's quiet power is seen to full advantage, first, in room interiors constructed around a narrow tonal range and entirely without figures, then in landscapes mostly of shadows.

"Windows," from 2006, is the standout, being a picture only of rectangles of soft light interrupted by the cord of a window shade. The interplay of tans, browns and pinks is in itself lovely in a fragile way that does not require viewers to project emotion. Kim's 2007 "Piano" and "Interior" approach this, but the more representational elements he includes, the more his pregnant atmosphere dissipates.

The most successful landscapes are those that take shape through indirection, that is, not through trees or water transcribed but the coming together of their shadows and reflections to make an art of rustles and whispers.


Alan Artner, Tribune art critic Published March 30, 2007






Youngbae Kim: Upon Reflection March 16 - April 14, 2007 Andrew Bae Gallery 300 W. Superior St. Chicago, IL 60610 Light defines, as much as it illuminates; the shadows it casts and the spaces it fills imply as much as do the items it reveals directly to sight. Upon Reflection, Youngbae Kim's second solo show in the United States, features recent oil paintings by the contemporary Korean artist. In these images of reflected light both interior and exterior, Kim expresses a restraint, elegant but unforced, whose understatedness allow the impression of empty space to blossom as a full form.

Devoid of movement, these are undisturbed spaces whose attention to gently shimmering light and spartan, undisturbed interiors combine elements of both Western and Eastern art. From the West, the attentiveness to light's fall, its pearlescence, its reflection upon, within, and through the items it touches. The gallery notes the influence of Vermeer, but many of the Dutch masters evoke this quiet, masterful touch of light as illuminating its own qualities by the items on which it falls. From the East comes the use of negative space, a characteristic of Asian art most easily understood in ink painting, where a single, supple stroke of black can activate the entire blank page around it.

Kim's work brings both alive in these subdued scenes. His interiors focus on an empty room as bathed with light. Where there are objects, their placement is within such quantity of space as to positively emphasize and even sculpt these voids by their presence. The table and four chairs in Interior (48 x 60 in.: oil on linen: 2006) do this, standing as quiet elements within the large, gently illuminated area around them. At the same time the spaces within these works extend into a world larger than the bounds of what is visible within the painting, a larger wholeness often suggested by a window or doorway. These incorporate glass which passes light freely, and imply or actually show vistas beyond the chamber of the initial vantage point. Light shimmers across the floor or radiates through window glass and blinds, and fills the rooms to brimming. Warmly colored, in the earth-tones range, it makes the spaces amiable and inviting.

We only know about this light by its qualities and the shape of its edges, or conversely, its indistinctness; and at times the light itself is the only clue. In the exquisitely understated Summer Shadow (32 x 48 in.: oil on linen: 2006) there is only space: a wall, the ground, their right angle meeting picked out and emphasized by light and the direct and indirect shadows. All is implied by the intersection of color areas tracing out the angle of the wall, and the shadows implying the presence of overarching trees. It reveals just how many cues are given by the quality of a shadow on a surface, how much it implies of the presence, position, size and quality of the object standing opaque between the light, and the surface. And yet, Summer Shadow seems luminously real and detailed; there is no feeling that anything has been glossed or abbreviated.

A third theme of reflective light in these paintings involves the mirror images cast back by water. Well-handled, these stand second to the interior and exterior paintings if only because the reflective qualities of water's shimmering surface both flattens the image into a definite plane, and makes the implied image more explicit. The paintings worth a special trip here are the interior and exterior works which speak so revealingly of light and its elements.

Subdued in color, there is a suggestive inwardness to these paintings in which space is superbly sculpted by the fall of light upon surfaces or the shadows it creates. This is a skilled amalgamation of aesthetics of East and West. Eighteen paintings in oil are featured.


--Katherine R. Lieber

Katherine R. Lieber has edited's Visual Arts reviews since 1998. Ms. Lieber is Editor and Associate Producer for