Illness by Minah Kim

Illness by Minah Kim


Unfired clay.

About the Work from the Artist

I have realized the material and form are bigger than me, that they have their own intelligence and history, which is also revealed through the history of art and power structure of politics. Visual representation of this shovel was a metaphoric attempt to show my question about the value and perspective that converts so easily by the way it is exposed and the way it is spoken, which is closely related to the mechanism of the politics.


I believe the politics are closely attached to the daily

environment surrounding my body and thoughts. Considering how politics or power structure define the norm of the physical entities and how the credible function of every objects manipulates my behavior and thinking posture brings about the awkward relationship between the object and myself.

The shovel was one of the examples from the very mundane time of myself, specifically, a person who spends some time in measuring weighs of raw materials. Sometimes it is too big for the container bin, the handle is little short to grab, the balance between the handle and scooping part is somehow not comfortable enough, and it makes rumbustious noise. Its only function is 'scooping' things instead of my hands. 'Scooping' never can be a completed action but a temporal and ongoing action. In other words, I never feel the need for it or paid attention to the shovel unless I lost it.

The shovel always stayed in the darkness of the material bin, is grabbed by someone's hand and tossed back to the dark. Its specific function for temporal carrying reveals its explicit immobility and inability as well as the dependency. By revisiting this rudimental tool as the art subject, I observed the ambivalence of a standardized tool and found the discrepancy between the idealized rules and the crude reality that never can be answered.

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Originally from South Korea, Minah received her BFA and MFA from EWHA Womans University in Seoul. She has spent her time inside and outside of the studio participating in the exhibitions, research, and contribution resulted from her interest in contemporary philosophy and critical theories. The critical reflections on her inherited education from the academic environment bridges the narrative and the material of her work. She responses to the ambivalent absurdity tossed onto bodies and mundane objects implying coded history and raw presence, flowing time and fixed material.

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