Theatrical Characters




A new body of work by Seoul-born, New York-based Kyong Kim, “Theatrical Characters,” presents pipe-inspired animal-like ceramic vessels. The pieces, modular yet organic forms with ambiguous functions, suggest fictional characters in fur-like textures and bold patterns.

The title comes from the intimate domestic setting in which the pieces were created, resided and documented during the pandemic. From her Brooklyn home, she conjoins and carves slip-casted forms that resemble odd yet delightful characters on the stage with exaggerated postures and costumes. She says the prolonged time at home watching the pieces coming together allowed her forms to become more playful and free.

The forms that her pieces reference are more industrial and mechanical than classic. She uses modular molds created from pvc pipe fittings but conjoins them to obscure the original form and functions. The results are highly specific sculptural forms that suggest part of a larger assembly but with ambiguous functions. The bold graphic patterns of lines and dots are inspired by her long interest in hatching, a 17th century monochrome denotation system for heraldic armory, which renders the pieces as diagrammatic representations of colorful pieces they could have been, if not for the limitations created by working during the pandemic.

Kyong Kim is a Korean artist whose work ranges from drawing, painting and ceramics to installations. Trained in architecture and design, her ceramics often refer to architectural fixtures and forms devoid of their original context and functions.