It’s the last weekend to see Bonam Kim’s GOOD JOB WELL DONE, at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn. The collection of sculptures are each based on events in Kim’s life and are incredible creations.
From the press release-
Kim grew up with her brother’s architectural models and drawings scattered around their house. Captivated by the relationship between model and actual space, she gained an acute sense of her spatial surroundings. This sensibility, combined with her love of making things with her hands, led her to constructing miniatures of her world. These objects invite us to navigate not only the spaces she has occupied physically, but also the psychological space of her experiences and memories. By manipulating scale and taking a bird’s-eye view perspective, Kim reclaims power over the past and present. Works like Between Dream and Dark and Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down playfully explore the frustrations of cross-cultural exchange, while Untitled (April 2, 2020) and Untitled (203 Harrison Pl) evince feelings of isolation and accumulation during the pandemic era.
In Untitled (Classroom), Kim recreates a typical classroom from memory. Within it she presents us with some of the artifacts of the post-war South Korean educational system: politely folded hands are given a “stamp of approval” on the blackboard, commended for their conformity. Kim continues this examination of the way architectural spaces regulate human behavior in Untitled (401 Suydam Street), a model of the artist’s bedroom. She restages an event in which her apartment’s ceiling had become infested by pigeons, eroding her sense of personal space and producing an uneasy awareness of surveillance—of being observed at her most intimate by an other.
Untitled (1990-2005) contends with a traumatizing childhood experience where Kim suffered a severe hand burn which led her to have multiple surgeries over an extended period of time. These memories led her to grow averse to going into spaces that brought forth memories of the hospital’s formal qualities, such as hair salons. With the piece she distills the relation between time, space, and memory, turning a wall clock into an operating room and hair salon. This sense of spatial unease is echoed in the piece Untitled (Mexico City-Seoul), which models the circumstances of renewing her visa in the middle of the 2020 pandemic. Having to ping-pong between Mexico and Seoul without knowing when she would be able to return to the United States made her reflect on the arbitrariness of the system, which is mirrored in the piece by an embassy office held within a lottery box, pointing to a bureaucratic opacity that leaves the user in a sort of Kafkaesque limbo.
This exhibition closes 3/12/23.