• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2605

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 648

    YIM TAE KYU

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    YIM TAE KYU
    (Born in 1976)
    Fly Away Home #4 & Lovely T-Shirt
    two ink and colour on Korean paper
    141 x 73.5 cm. (55 1/2 x 29 in.) x 2 pieces
    Painted in 2007 (2)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    In search to modernize traditional form of oriental painting into a contemporary rendering, Yim Take Kyu instigated a cartoon like expression as an outcome, liberating his imaginative soul from the conventional calm dexterity of oriental painting. The society's fusion between the traditional customs and Occidentalism aggravated the sense of instability of the artist, apparent in his illustration by borrowing the identity of the marginal characters in his works. Incapable of assimilating in a collective society, Yim addresses the issues of social conditions in which one's individuality is lost in a crowd.
    Emancipated with occasional flourishes of control, an unavoidable technicality in ink painting; Yim's oeuvres stimulate a visual reflex in his brilliantly succinct but strangely ceaseless lines, perhaps to further accentuate the compositional instability, allegorizing a social flux that the artist strives to fly away from. Circumnavigating in the generous dimension of the canvas, the characters are at all times in correlation with flying, whether it be through driving a plane or surrounded by UFOs or encircled with minute aviators. Indefinite in its symbolism, Yim furtively hassle perplexity from the spectators to guess whether he is flying of freedom or flying for freedom. The dark monochrome fog overcasts A Night Flight #2 (Lot 649) in sophisticated washes and whirlwind of brushstrokes, commanding a rapid spinning order of the flying plane whilst the rushed vertical lines in Fly Away from Home (Lot 648 ) insinuates an unruly velocity of the plane crashing down. Both trembling through the paper in insecure momentum, the viewers find themselves unconsciously retreating from the canvas for safety. Lovely T-shirt (Lot 648) is nourished with subtle vibrancy with floating UFOs, conjuring an eerie numbness to the viewers' ears, possibly owing to the energy of the electromagnetic currents of the UFOs movement. The girl appears hypnotized by the rhythmic waves of vibration, which Yim comically captures in her posture and face. To further this anesthetizing sensation that perhaps is equal to the purest sensation, he conscientiously splurges vivid colors to amplify the naivete of his drawings, portraying his frank conflict within his inner psyche.
    Lyrical in its intricate details, Yim provides munificent visual amusement that seizes the viewer's wonder for narration, particularly in that of The Unknown World (Lot 650), this immediately strikes us with a likeness to a familiarly endearing tale of Gulliver's Travel by Jonathan Swift. After a shipwreck, Gulliver finds himself imprisoned by a race of people one-twelfth the size of himself. The female protagonist is not imprisoned nor in complete freedom from the minute aviators. Instead she lies in power with seductive comfort whilst the miniature figurines contemplate in curious puzzlement of the situation. Yim's astonishing virtuosity in ink painting is apparent with his sophisticated blank neutrals of the hanji left untainted amongst the frenzied rate of lines and ink blotches. His meticulous sensitivity in placing colors of blue, red, green, yellow and purple into tiny gaps throughout the oeuvre is what reaffirms his incredibly poetic imagination that apt rhythmically with his recurrent theme of flying.
    Yim's imaginative sphere conjure a false impression of euphoria followed by dysphoria, with the viewer's attentive decoding of the narration and the hesitancy concealed in the disorderly yet restricted brush strokes that he employs. The four oeuvres all engender a sense of dislocation, a character out of control of the environment, lost in their surrounding and imprisoned for being an anomaly to the norm, reciting the tales of Gulliver's Travel. The anxiety and homelessness that the speed of modernity causes is illustrated successfully by Yim's masterful knowledge of his conventional medium, synchronized by his very contemporary concerns.