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Artist: Hana Kim

Curator: Anna Harding (UK)

Kim Hana has continuously explored the achievement of materiality through the surface of painting.

She paints by referring to the texture of objects such as icebergs, bed sheets, and plywood, and also leaves paint to run and harden along the curves of the canvas. Additionally, the artist manipulates the display to allow viewers to visually experience and explore the surface of the canvas differed by conditions of light as well as the composition of pigment and layering, even with the absence of specific references. Common features of the references the artist pulls from come from materials from nature, and are visually dominant. We recognize glacier, fabric, sand, water, light, stones, grapes, plywood, and mineral through its texture, rather than its from.

While working in Incheon in 2020, the artist will search for references specifically found in the area. Further, by employing light and mobility as the vehicle in the experiments into the nonmaterial – a mechanism to expand painting that is the most material medium – she will explore the endless expansion of the surface of painting.

For the last 15 years She has been leading SPACE, a London visual arts organisation supporting artists in a changing urban environment by providing creative workspace, advocacy, support and promoting innovation. 

SPACE was set up by artists in 1968, we currently run 20 artist studio buildings across 7 London boroughs and Colchester. We provide affordable creative workspace plus support programmes, such as exhibitions, artists residencies, bursaries and training opportunities, to support artists to be sustainable. We also work with schools, young people and communities neighbouring SPACE studio sites to promote engagement with creativity and the arts. SPACE supports nearly 900 artists with studios and a further 700 a year with professional development. Additionally, SPACE engages 22,000 people a year through its public programmes.

Notes from Anna Harding

London, 12 February 2021-02-12

In the spirit of The Show Must Go On! I received two packages of artwork from Hana Kim and Nosik Lim at my home. The suitcases each arrived inside large cardboard delivery boxes, surrounded in lots of bubble wrap, a suitcase contextualised within institutional packaging.


We have been working from home in the UK for almost 11 months now, so I have no museum store or gallery space to take these to.

Where can I store the large boxes in my already over-crowded work room? I have started making my own art which is crowding out my space too.

I am lucky to have this well-lit room, which used to be my son’s bedroom. For the first time in over 20 years I have my own room so I feel overwhelmed by the need to accommodate these large transport boxes.


The suitcases themselves are a delight.


Hanah Kim’s package is most intriguing, consisting of a container within a container within a container within a container.


The first container is a beautifully crafted violin bow case poking out of an old black rucksack. 

Inside this bow case is a violin bow smeared with a turquoise pastel, like a small child has gone wild with make-up. The backpack she says has seen 10 years’ service. Inside it is a cardboard postage box which has also traveled the world, sent to the artist from overseas, with old addresses masked out giving hints of a backstory of international transit which I am now a participant in.

A canvas pouch has been made for the resin for the violin bow. This is stitched onto a rectangle of canvas, which seems to have a large butterfly impregnated into the surface.

I need to unfold, unroll and lay out various elements, unrolling strips of canvas, their flat pearlescent grey scuffed occasionally with streaks of turquoise, maybe from butterfly wings?


Overlay, inlay, imply, invite, this package is making demands on me to install and perform. Where and how can I do this at home?

I don’t live in an empty white cube, I try arranging it on the sofa but it doesn’t look right.


Nosik Lim explores the space between where he is in his mind, his memory and where he is in physical space making the work. Images of the studio, windows he walks past, a watch tower which become imprinted in your mind.


His suitcase includes catalogues from 4 exhibitions with beautiful titles - View from the Inside, One Hundred Shadows, and Pebble Skipping and a particular favourite - Folded Time.

The suitcase is lined with small handmade prints referring to natural settings, perhaps beaches or sand dunes, ancient looking sandcastles. They feel timeless. 

A delicately drawn dreamy figure lies at the bottom of the case, the head disappears into a feathery pillow, the figure merges with circling marks in a delicate background. 


A large image of a cattle farm in the snow chimes as it’s snowing here today.


Both artists expand painting in time and space, their installations command substantial space. All I can offer is my yoga mat which is inadequate for these artworks to stretch and breathe. 


Suitcases and travel are worlds apart from our ongoing lockdown existence in the UK. The prospect of travel feels remote, yet delivery packages at the door has become daily experience, with little thought to how far they have travelled and the labour that has gone into producing them for our convenience.


I decide to share the work over zoom with two artists from my art class. First I email them some photos and links to the website, then we discuss the work over 2 zoom sessions.

The artists, Suki Berwick and Polly Fehily, each made small artworks as a gift for you which I sneaked into the return packages for return, I hope these reach you personally. 

Thank you Hana Kim and Nosik Lim for your thoughtful “cabinets of curiosity” which I was so privileged to receive. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your work. The experience has prompted me to start learning Korean, it will take me a long time to master but I hope that we will be able to have a more detailed conversation in person in future. Suki, Polly and I have been inspired to continue meeting to work on our Korean language together.

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