Critic's Note: The Secret Frame of the World
If the painting is an open window to the world and to the soul, there is a particular eye that is fixed on the window, or would like to see it only. In fact, it is not the window that the eye sees, but the bars that it perceives. And it doesn't perceive them as an object of the visible world, but as a frame of thought, the most profound expression of visual thought.
Kim Jai Kwan belongs to the group os artists for whom painting concerns the comprehension of this frame which is intimate as well as universal. Intimate, because it exists in us and without it we cannot measure reality. Universal, because everyone possesses this grille but does not give any attention to it, because he is seduced by the visible and enjoys the world's spectacle to the fullest.
The paintings of Kim Jai Kwan are an attempt to make this invisible frame visible without which the viewer's glance would be non-existent. It is composed of vertical and horizontal lines from which all the forms seem to originate. However Kim Jai Kwan does not show the birth of such forms but rather he wills us to perceive the movement of the birth of space. This is made by variations, rapprochements and separations which exist between the two lines. These variations generate breath which makes the surface swell and these intimate variations between the two coloured elements give the amplitude of profound movements like the oceans. Then, the two-dimensionnality is opened by itself, and starts to dream of becoming itself immense and infinite.
What we see at the bottom of this ocean of human visual thought is not waves or undulations, but plans which start to slip one after the other. Each seems to be a translucent sheet which penetrates at the same time as the other colored layer seems to be lost nd seems to leave there, as if it were about to born.
As a worthy heir of the great painters like Mondrian or Malevich, Kim Jai kwan assists us to perceive something deeper in his painting. Indeed, this intimate frame, that determines the condition of all the glances, is also the way by which makes the most secrete part of the human thought sensitive. It is the matter of this cerebral and mental movement which yet seizes the whole body, by which the thought invents the possibility itself of all the forms.
The grandeur and beauty of Kim Jai Kwan's pictorial world consists in making us understand this stratum of human thought, his trembles and his hesitations. But what is most surprising is that this primitive world, the world before formation of forms, is at the same time absolutely mathematical in his variations themselves. Before the forms, there was a frame, the frame of the secret world, without which nothing beautiful could affect us.
The painting by Kim Jai Kwan is a gate opened to the mystery of the genesis of the visible, but also to the secret of the beauty of the world. This mystery and this secret live in each of us and thanks to them we can love and understand the work of Kim Jai Kwan.
Artist's Education: Hongik University. Seoul, Korea. M.F.A., Painting. Hongik University. Ph.D., Science of Plastic Arts.