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Riverside Gallery presents a solo exhibition by JongBeom Kim


originally published: 06/30/2022

Riverside Gallery presents a solo exhibition by JongBeom Kim

(HACKENSACK, NJ) -- The Riverside Gallery presents a solo exhibition by JongBeom Kim, a South Korean photographer. Titled "Red Fish," the exhibition will run from July 2-9, 2022, without an opening reception. Kim was born in Boryeong, Chungnam, in 1963 and runs the JongBeom Kim Photography Cultural Center in Nonsan, South Korea. 

JongBeom Kim depicts a goldfish trapped in a cubic glass container using photography as his primary medium. The cube of water in which the fish resides floats on a wet surface that reflects both the cube and the fish. Contrary to the arrangement of an object, light, and its shadow, Kim’s photos utilize the relationship of the subject and its reflection. Kim’s works are one of self-reflection and introspection. The contemplative environment for the goldfish appears to be an oxymoron or a contradiction as the fish is known to have a short memory and a lack of cognitive capacity. The translucency of the glass and water, and the ethereal nature of the light that passes through the setup put the work in a kind of mystical and spiritual domain rather than object-based physics.

Riverside Gallery presents a solo exhibition by JongBeom Kim

Through his work, JongBeom Kim discovers a visual metaphor that simultaneously critiques human nature and the way society operates. At first glance, the goldfish may be a pet and an object of visual entertainment for many people, but the fish is also a direct representation of the people themselves. Everyday people can see themselves in the image of the fish because most people abandon their personal dreams and aspirations to attain financial stability in life. The glass walls represent the invisible social, political, and economic forces that define and limit the person's situation/status within society. Similarly, the fish gains safety inside the container, but loses its freedom by becoming a pet object. If somehow the fish were to be let free, the fish would not survive in the wild jungle where violent encounters with hungry predators await it. Once trapped as a pet, the fish earns its value to the puppet master (of society), whom the pet owner represents, by acting as a visual spectacle. It cannot perform its identity in a way that is true to its free and artistic inclinations in this confined space. Just as the goldfish desires to return to nature to attain its fullest potential, so does the artist who seeks his origin that is endowed with true freedom and harmony. 

In an artist statement JongBeom Kim said, "The connection with the goldfish, which is the main motif of this exhibition, was found more than 10 years ago. One day, I saw a goldfish in the fish tank, and I suddenly felt its sincere longing to swim freely. From then on, I began to explore the basic cause of its survival. Through the fish, I wanted to re-illuminate the rapidly changing environment.

"Dazzling city lights, A frozen refuge, and algal bloom in which it cannot even breathe...



 
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"They would have been constantly longing for a clear lake where mist rises. But we erect a glass wall in every direction that we call 'safety' to lock up their lives in its name. Maybe we, too, are trapped in an institutional, confined space, to ensure our own safety.

"I sincerely long to see the most desirable harmony between nature and man. All of this was to speak of the reason to return to nature, enjoy freedom, and heal and purify nature by oneself through this exhibition."

JongBeom Kim exhibited previously at the Now Gallery (Seoul), Amu Gallery (Jeonju), Rice Paper Museum (Jeonju), World Cup Racing Track Promotion Center (Jeonju), Sophia Gallery (Sejong), and the Ino Gallery (Seoul). 

Riverside Gallery presents a solo exhibition by JongBeom Kim

His works include the "The, More" series (exhibited at the Sejong Government Complex in 2021; Gallery Now in Insadong in 2019; and Sophia Gallery in Sejong in 2019), "illu-ality" series (exhibited at the Amu Gallery in Jeonju in 2018; and exhibited in Samcheong-dong, Seoul in 2017), "Rise of 1000 Years" (exhibited by the Jeonbuk Provincial Government in 2009), "World Cup" (exhibited by the Jeonju World Cup Stadium PR Center in 2022), and "View NZ" series (exhibited at the Ramada Hotel in Seoul in 2015). Kim also published books titled "Who" (2022), "New Zealand Landscape 2" (2018), "France Journey" (2017), "New Zealand Landscape" (2017), and "New Zealand, a moment’s rest" (2014).

Kim was also nominated as a staff artist by the Sejong Special City Cultural Center (2019); was a representative of Gallery Fine (2018); donated to the charity auction of the Australia and New Zealand organization at the Seoul Hyatt Hotel (2016-2017); was the President of the Sandongmyun Cornus Festival Photograph Contest (2016-2017); was a regular guest on CBS Radio 'N' (2016); appeared on the Sky Travel's "The Techniques of Traevl of Mina Son" Talk Show (2016); had works featured in the talent development collection of the Halls Group (2016); and so on.

Riverside Gallery is located inside of Riverside Mall at One Riverside sq. Suite 201 in Hackensack, New Jersey.






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