Kim Seola traces her thoughts and observations through forms unseen to the naked eye. With her keen interest in small existences, she casts her gaze at lifeless things such as burnt remains of firewood. To the artist, they are regarded as life forms. She records loss and perishing of frail creatures that easily escape our recognition and visualises the lost time and memory of the past including dust, feathers, and unicellular organisms. Memories of demolition of her hometown, the forced movement due to the development of chemical plants, and the despair she felt as a grown-up in the face of her home, scorched and reduced to a mere shell — all these prompted her to record objects and living creatures that could possibly disappear anytime soon. Fear of the absence of things that disappeared in front of her eyes come back in overlapping layers of myriad fine lines in her painting, turning them into tactile and auditory sensations.
After multiple studies, Kim focused on mycelia of molds, and concluded that they are the most visual and tactile materials that exist on the border between life and death. She focuses on the tiniest sounds of the mycelia of molds, pondering upon the fine line between existence and extinction. In her artworks, microorganisms that are barely visible in the real world, metamorphose into living creatures. She also recalls the subtleties of the intricate patterns and the camouflages that hold quiet deceptions.
Kim’s art is also shaped by her experiences of studying and living in Vadodara, India for seven years. She has completed her MFA at the MS University, Faculty of Fine Arts, in the Painting Department in 2011 and simultaneously, lived and worked at The Collective Studio Baroda where she received intensive tutelage from Rekha Rodwittiya and Surendran Nair. She returned to South Korea in 2014. Her work has since then been included in important international exhibitions such as ‘The 11th Gwangju Biennale–The Eight Climate, What Dose Art Do?’ at Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju and ‘Asia Contemporary Art Exhibition /Asia Women Artists’ at the Jeonbuk Museum of Art, Jeonbuk. She was also invited to participate in the Bank ART STUDIO NYK Residency in Yokohama in 2017 and in the Asia Culture Center / Arts Space Network Space Residency at ACC ASIAPLEX Studio, Gwangju in 2018.
Kim lives and works in Gwangju, South Korea.