Kim Ng

Kim explores the world around him via an intuitive study of his own visual experiences. Fragments of fleeting impressions are observed, recorded, and reconstructed: the city evolves into surfaces and texture, which are smooth and rough, geometrical and abstract; the countryside provides organic form and tactile pattern.

The various visual elements are collaged and juxtaposed, filtered through Kim’s meditative imagination, to create a totality which transcends the sum of the individual parts. The world around him is depicted – and challenged – by his paradoxical perception of the relationship between reality and the void, of levels of meaning and existence.

This metaphysical approach, influenced by Buddhist thought, generated images which refer directly to the visual and tactile world while never stating the obvious. Colour (symbolically chosen), shapes, marks, textures, and spaces form the language of the images. Strong contrasts and unexpected re-combinations of these elements are embedded in the effects and techniques of intaglio and relief printing.

The printing itself is achieved using a relatively new technique called “collagraph”. In essence, it is a method of building up a printing plate in a very direct ‘hands-on’ manner through collage of shapes and textures, and mark-making, directly on to the plate itself. The basic principles are simple and direct, but in Kim’s case, misleadingly so. His sophisticated use of the medium is hard-won and the subtleties of his printed imagery are profoundly impressive to anyone familiar with collagraphs.

I first taught him in the early 1990s on a Fire Art BA Honours course at London Guildhall University, where I was Senior Lecturer in charge of Printmaking. Within a few months of my introducing him to the technique of collagraph, he was already more skilled in its methods and in its multi-coloured printing possibilities than the teaching staff, including myself. He used what he had been taught as a basis for inventive and varied investigations of his own. Since then, he has moved on to complete an MA course at the University of Westminster, where he pursued his interest in collagraph and ceramics, exploring further experimental uses of various materials to combine with printmaking.

His work is therefore doubly inspiring: a metaphysical, abstract depiction of the world around us, allied to a technical masterly on the forefront of his chosen medium.

Julia Wilson
Artist, and external examiner for the Open College of the Arts, UK.

Artist’s Statement
The subject matter in this exhibition is arbitrary, which denies the concentration on any particular evidence. Images of common objects and things the artist encountered and collected are used to form an intimate participating relationship. Different elements adapted and appearing in the original print work carries a gesture of memory, and nostalgic feeling of the past.

The significant form of the simplified object-images has a certain representational meaning. They propose questions of identity and originality. The transcendental images in the art work itself carry an arresting sensation of being both existent and void at the same time.

The essence of the object-images have been extracted and replaced with simple forms, lines, colour, patterns and textures. They appear in metaphysical forms, and act as a signifier towards the artist’s belief and philosophical thinking. The pictorial records of the intellectual mind seems to suggest a story, an incident, and yet at the same time denying it.

The first working process was to set up a structure and a rhythm on paper. This allows the artist to visualize the idea and composition before a contrast of randomness and control is constructed. All print work that the artist produced has a remarkable physicality, which are records of the artist’s physical action.

The intentional arrangements of the symbolic elements in the original print work establish themselves in a conflicting dialectic position, arguing and responding in between them. The viewers are invited to assimilate the works’ conceptual structure through the juxtaposition of the relevant and ir relevant visual components which forms specific relationships, challenging the viewer’s perception of the meaning of common objects when confronted.

To quote Jean-Francois Lyotard’s writing, which is the most appropriate to the artists creativity, intention and purposes, “A postmodern artist or writer is in the position of a philosopher; the text he writes, the work he produces are not in principle governed by pre-established rules, and they cannot be judged according to a determining judgement, by applying familiar categories to the text or to the work…”