by - November 29, 2022

 Chae Rimm uses ottchil (Korean lacquer) to jump back and forth between past and present as well as East and West as she creates a powerful visual expression of the marvelous journey of nature. At Art Miami, held from November 29 to December 4, Chae presents a monumental work entitled Mountain and Island, her artistic interpretation of ideological colors and saekdong (traditional multi-colored stripes) that reflects a distinctly Korean sentiment.
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November 29, 2022
4.30pm - 10pm
November 30 - December 3 11am - 7pm
December 4 11am - 6pm
◾️Booth NO. AM301_SPACE 776 gallery

Mountains and islands 

 Chae Rimm explores the infinite possibility of pictorial expression through the colors and lines of saekdong based on the traditional Korean color schemes of obangsaek (yellow, blue, red, white and black) and ogansaek (green, light blue, bright red, sulfur yellow, and violet). Saekdong comprises multi-colored stripes that have been patched together. “Dong” in saekdong denotes a single block or stripe, which together, in connection with the characteristics of Rimm’s existing works that visualize color through layering, boldly and sensuously expand Mountains and Islands.

 The artist applies the concept of saekdong, sometimes juxtaposing complementary colors and other times employing similar colors, to create a dazzling and tense pictorial scene. The repetitive brushstroke of colors overlap and carry on in varying degrees of brightness and saturation, thereby tearing down the borders between center and background, figurative and abstract, and traditional and contemporary, while also creating an aesthetic language of rhythmic vibe and resonance.


 The gap in the spectrum of colors, created by building time instilled in each color block and simultaneously gathering them altogether on a single panel, presents opportunities for meditation and prompts a sense of resonance within us. Here, we witness the cyclical narrative of nature where the principles of giwunsaengdong and jeongjungdong are in harmony.


Meaning “the spirit lives and moves,” this expression is used metaphorically to describe distinguished works that portray vivid images of life in the subject.
Meaning “movement in silence, silence in movement,” this expression refers to the state of being able to control the mind and body according to one’s own will, regardless of the surrounding environment and external stimuli.


Arirang Cantabile

 At Art Miami, Arirang Cantabile, previously exhibited at Personal Structures, a special exhibition accompanying the 2022 Venice Biennale, is presented with new additions to the series. Landscapes of mountains, islands, the sea, and the sky that unfold on small 20x20cm panels collectively create a dynamic panorama. Each work that constitutes the series exists independently, yet together, they lead viewers to experience a picturesque, lyrical fantasy. 

 When organic objects are arranged freely on the panels where the matière (materiality) of ottchil (Korean lacquer) and texture of hemp cloth are salient, the resulting work generates a greater sense of three-dimensionality and vitality unachievable in two-dimensional works.
 On this, art critic Lee Yongwoo said, “Chae Rimm challenged 3-dimensional art with confidence in painting she acquired based on the functionality she had perfected as a jewelry designer. Just as she expanded the realm of craftsmanship by lacquer painting, Chae Rimm recreates lyrical and flexible 3-dimensional sensitivity of sculpture in relief or panels of the past, while controlling decorative nature of jewelry design."
 Chae Rimm’s “sculptural paintings” focus on interpreting and expanding “various possibilities of painting” rather than taking a genre-oriented approach. The intersectional attempt to make paintings sculptural or push sculpture into the domain of painting adds richness to Chae’s oeuvre.
 Chae will continue to employ various ottchil techniques and colors in this series, and the artist’s endeavor will be delivered by her experimental spirit in terms of materials, humanistic approach, and color philosophy through mutual interaction between the traditional and the contemporary.

Mountains and islands 

Mountains and Islands are an installation version of Arirang Cantabile. This work reflects the concept of menhir (standing stone), believed to connect the earth and the sky, and is inspired by stone towers.


Mountains and Islands, which reflect the Asian concept of meditation, borrows the universal object and shape of the cube as a simplified expression of the pious and earnest wishes made when stacking stones one by one. Although the work is simple in shape, Mountains and Islands use the language of color in great depth by reinterpreting the traditional Korean color schemes of obangsaek and ogansaek.

The good Earth 

 This work displays layered images created through the process of repetition. Using the traditional technique of jitae ottchil, Chae layers ottchil (Korean lacquer) and hanji (traditional Korean mulberry paper) over hemp cloth, and then applies ottchil again to gift viewers a panel teeming with Korean sentiment.


 Chae repeats her artistic routine to express the soft energy inherent in traditional elements. She sometimes makes a collage of colored hanji, and at other times, she rips, crumbles, rolls out, or pounds colored hanji on ottchil layers to demonstrate the free use of color, texture, and form. The art that results from such a process displays an alluring matière (materiality) that cannot be expressed by the act of painting alone.


​ In <Symbolism in Poetry by Lacquer Painting>, Lee Yongwoo wrote, The texture of the two-dimensional surface of Chae Rimm’s lacquer painting projects an extremely varied and refined sense of beauty created by adjusting the thickness and depth based on the functional perfection of lacquer painting. This unique effect on the surface alone creates a variety of landscapes, and the diverse spectrum of colors reveals a lyrical sensibility.

 Figurative and abstract coexist within the harmony created by the overlapping of hanji and ottchil. Chae effectively demonstrates the beauty of the refined aesthetics that each of their traces create together while not interfering with the other.


* Jitae ottchil is a traditional technique of applying a finishing coat of ottchil to paper objects.

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