Galerie Förster

Jinran Kim

"After the Rain" - Paintings

September 7th - October 20th, 2012

Jinran Kims was born in Seoul, South Korea. She had long cultivated an interest for German history and language before actually moving to Berlin in 1994.  From early on in her life in Berlin, she became fascinated with the ruins of WWII, with the houses that still displayed bullet holes from the war. The notion of  memory in relation  to the destruction caused by the war, preserved in structures such as the Gedächniskirche, would leave a deep impression on her.  Seoul, a city which was also destroyed during the Korean War of 1950-53, is devoid of any such remnants.. Ruins there were immediately demolished and new houses built in their place.

Jinran Kim has been working for a long time on the themes of memory, transience and death. Her series "The Last Mattress", exhibited two years prior in Galerie-Förster, shows traces of human life and death. In Buddhism, the body of the deceased is cremated and only a small vessel of ash remains. The fires of war leave ash that recall not only the buildings, but all the people that had  burned and killed. For her painting series "After the Rain", Jinran Kim used wood ash from Korea, that is used in calligraphy. Photographs from the war and the postwar period served as a source of inspiration. In her large format paintings, people are entirely missing, which further enhances the silence. The viewer is faced with familiar buildings and places as well as being confronted with an atmosphere of intense fear, yet simultaneously appearing fantastically unreal.The watercolor-like technique produces an effect of something floating, something that in the next moment could potentially dissolve itself, along with the smoke of the detonations.

Max Ernst  painted "Europe after the Rain"  in 1940-42 , foreshadowing the destruction of Europe. Although the rain signifies the complete and utter destruction, it also srepresents the washing away of an existing culture as a natural disaster. Jinran Kim has titled of her exhibition after Max Ernst's painting.

Gabriele Förster · Berlin · September 2012
(translated by Baruch Gottlieb)