Kim Deok-Han (b. 1981) is of a newer generation and expresses the sense of “淡” through his use of a traditional material: lacquer. The artist overlays lacquer in multiple colours and repetitively peels them off, leaving only traces of each layer. This laborious process usually takes six to twelve months, as time and patience is required to allow each coloured layer to dry completely before another is applied. The artist explains that his process creates a record of time and space. By peeling off and leaving just traces of any one layer, he captures their accumulated presence and reveals individual moments of the past in the plane of a single painting. At the same time, using the ancient technique of lacquer work ensures that his painting will be preserved for thousands of years. Kim’s meditative approach to the material he uses, and his choice of earthy colours inspired by traditional Korean hanbok dresses, creates striking and thought-provoking paintings.
KIM DEOK HAN