• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2605

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 492


    Price Realised  


    (Born in 1954)
    Memory in Summer 1981
    oil on canvas
    182 x 227 cm. (71 1/2 x 89 1/4 in.)
    Painted in 2005

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    Inspired greatly by both Mother Nature and those who live as one with nature, Rim Dongsik aspires to demonstrate his respect for nature and its subjects. In this symbiotic relationship with Nature, Rim believes that he is not only an artist who paints Nature but is also guided by the environment. In Nature Artist and Painter-Spring and Nature Artist and Painter-Summer (Lot 493) we find a succession of frame-by-frame paintings of the artist and his close friend, a cab driver. Cleanly dividing this large canvas down the center, the left side describes the daily ventures of his friend; the right belongs to the artist himself. By creating a logical compositional structure Rim comments on the strange parallel between their lives that akin to parallel lines are dissimilar and unable to truly converge.

    In Nature Artist and Painter-Spring, the two of them sit side by side, their facial expressions comparable despite their different lifestyles. Rim is seen painting on a canvas throughout the countryside, while his friend the cab driver lives in harmony with Nature, engrossed in swimming, harvesting and farming. The cab driver's life is peaceful and raw until the summer, as seen in Nature Artist and Painter-Summer when both lives progress to a different stage. Rim has moved from merely painting with brushes to performing with his body, transforming into an artist interacting with nature rather than just in it. It is in Memory In Summer 1981 (Lot 492) that we find a moment of this performance art where the artist stands in the water, provoking sounds and movements with his hands. His friend similarly becomes more involved in manual and urbanized culture, tailoring, building and driving his taxi during the summer period (Nature Artist and Painter-Summer).

    Utilizing simplistic colours and unrefined renditions of the figures and landscapes, Rim conveys the effortless gratification of life in nature. The central landscape of the river is already framed and re-framed by numerous, smaller images suggesting that we too as viewers need not be preoccupied by decor and embellishments but delve into the tranquility of the great outdoors.