Public baths have long been a source of inspiration, reflection, and congregation. An idea that negotiates between reality and unreality; artist Kim Jeong Hyang explores herself anointed term Bari-Medion in a flamboyant display of languid writhing bodies enthralled in the act of bathing with "Fantastic Public Bath with Bari-medion #8" (Lot 1173 ) and "Fantastic Public Bath with Bari-medion #6(Lot 1174). Upon first approach, the work is incredibly reminiscent of Buddhist art, an Islamic miniaturist painting, or even perhaps Indian karmic scripts. Highly detailed, a closer looks reveals Korean cultural references that run deeper than the metaphorical contexts of bathing. As in Greek mythology or Christian baptism, perhaps once released, the painting's figures in pain now are relieved from their insecurities and alienation that once plagued their unappreciated existence.
According to Kim, Bari Medion is the medium purely consumed with imagination. It is a medium of introspection with independent reasoning, where people can freely caress and heal one another in an imaginary land of mythological and religious power.
A certain confrontation of geometry and nature is not typically extraordinary contemporary subject matter, yet Kim's exactitude of observation, and specificity of colour, such as dove grays and odd yellows, appears oddly new. The large scale of her work is something to mention alone. Somewhat ecclesiastical, the point of view offers the viewer a hierarchical perspective from the heavens.
One must reconcile her subtle combinations of natural patterns and strictly patterned elements, such as water and nature, to truly understand her intentional ambiguity. Navigating Kim's artistic landscape is not only representational o of her hybridized painting style, but how she has employed her traditional Korean painting roots and flourished into a well rounded contemporary artist.