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Spontaneous Hesitation | ARTLECTURE

Spontaneous Hesitation

-Woo KIM-

/Artist's Studio/
LINE it!
Spontaneous Hesitation
-Woo KIM-


Woo KIM is a contemporary artist, mainly working on paintings and installations with the theme of "mutual relations".
"...Is it because Woo KIM left her work in cars to devote herself to her art that I feel close to her ? Or because her new work, Spontaneous Hesitation, speaks of both the fear and excitement that grips us when we change lives? You got it, I feel moved by Woo KIM’s work..." - Philippe Graton

"...Is it because Woo KIM left her work in cars to devote herself to her art that I feel close to her ? Or because her new work, Spontaneous Hesitation, speaks of both the fear and excitement that grips us when we change lives? You got it, I feel moved by Woo KIM’s work..."


Portrait of Woo KIM in her studio  ©Philippe Graton, 2020.06.16


Philippe Graton, French photographer and scenarist of the film Michel Vaillant, wrote it in his famous project "The Wednesday Shot" along with the portrait of the artist taken in Kim's studio. (The Wednesday Shot)

Brussels, Spontaneous Hesitation by Woo KIM


On June 17, 2020, Woo KIM's solo exhibition Spontaneous Hesitation” was held at Solvay Library in Brussels, Belgium. The exhibition took place shortly after the Belgian government's quarantine measure had started being relaxed. As written by Philippe Graton, Woo KIM expressed her hesitation and excitement about her first solo exhibition in Europe through her works. Woo KIM, who had left SouthKorea for studying art in France 10 years ago, as an Asian and engineer-based artist, has kept working and holding exhibitions in France and Belgium until now.


Movement(i), Woo KIM, acrylic on canvas, 113 x 145,5cm, 2020


Exhibition view, Spontaneous Hesitation by Woo KIM, Solvay Library, Brussels, Belgium ©Xavier Portela


Installation of the paintings with the idea of KKOT-BAT


In this exhibition, which Woo KIM planned and installed for herself in the imagination of KKOT-BAT (꽃밭, flower garden in Korean), 25 pieces of flat paintings were shown in the form of installation, including six of the Stone series realized in 2013 and nine of the Spring series realized in 2020. The Stone series is a work that embraces those questions about the origin of humanity and the uniqueness or the originality of the painting, and is also the outcome of her dedication on artworks right after giving birth to her first child when she belonged to Rennes Beaux-Arts in France. The Spring series is a work done during the containment period by Covid-19 in Belgium, and the original shapes in the series come from the work of DEONGEORI (덩어리, lump in Korean), a concept that Woo KIM has established since 2018.


Deongeoris, Woo KIM, 2020 

Painting laid without wallacrylic painting on three concrete white bricks covered with transparent glue91 x117cm/ 96 x 140 x 20cm ©Xavier Portela


Garden, Woo KIM, 2018 

Painting laid without wall, acrylic painting on a concrete white brick covered with transparent glue30 x30cm/ 35 x 60 x 20cm © Xavier Portela


In the imagination of the movement of wildflowers


Woo KIM's Spring series begins with Deongoeris, a plane painting of black background and also consists of other paintings arranged as installation, Movement, Narcissus(i), Narcissus(ii), and In the KKOT-BAT: Memory with Grandma. Woo KIM, mainly working on paintings and installations with the theme of "mutual relations", expresses the movements of the moment with maximized curves in her paintings. This Spring series shows further more dynamic movement comparing to the Deongeoris in 2019 because it was inspired by the absence of the spring and the flowers,especially wildflowers having natural curves rather than the trimmed flowers for packaging at the flower shop. In addition, Woo KIM said that in the beginning of the containment period when the atmosphere was full of desolation, she was moved by the flowers Narcissus that she came across during a walk around her house in mid-March.  And then she could make the two works titled the "Narcissus". 


Narcissus (i), Movement (i), Narcissus (ii), Woo KIM, 2020 

Painting laid without wall, acrylic painting on white bricks covered with transparent glue © Xavier Portela

Narcissus (ii), 2020 

Painting laid without wall, 91 x 117cm/ 211 x 117 x 20cm

Acrylic painting on twelve concrete white bricks covered with transparent glue © Xavier Portela


Narcissus, flower of the hesitation


"...I was moved by the simple and delicate appearance of Narcissus. Unlike the flowers that grow in the yard, the Narcissus that endure the environment that is not different from any weeds in the field and burst into bloom in the cold can easily pass by because of its color commonly seen on the road. But if you keep looking, you can discover its own beauty. This mysterious flower keeps viewers feeling breathtaking. Because the more flowers bloom, the lower the flower head hanging at the end of the peduncle falls. However, my two eyes follow the line of this curved stem and naturally let me look at the flower in more detail. Narcissus is a monochromatic flower with only 5-6 petals, but it can make very different aesthetic forms depending on the viewing angle and time. The nuances of the colors created by the shadows of the overlapping petals caused with the occasional sunshine are enough to add to the Narcissus' minimal beauty..." (Artist's statement, June 2020)


In the KKOT-BAT Memory with Grandma, Woo KIM, 2020

Acrylic paintings laid without wall  © Xavier Portela


Exhibition View 2020 © Xavier Portela



She thought of the grave from the KKOT-BAT


Onthe other hand, In the KKOT-BAT: Memory with Grandma (installation painting, 2020) is a work that began with the imagination of the "flower garden" of Korea. For Woo KIM, KKOT-BAT, a Korean word which can correspond to the flower garden in English is a word that reminds her of the memories with her grandmother. Even though flowers are also cultivated in various ways inEurope, for Woo KIM, the KKOT-BAT is considered as something "Korean", and personal to her. "When I was young, I was always afraid that my grandmother would die some day. So I told her I would bury her in the KKOT-BAT when she died. I lived in an apartment at that time, so there was no flower garden at home. But I felt like that I had a KKOT-BAT close to my home. My grandmother was always happy whenever she talked about this story until I became an adult." The KKOT-BAT is a protected area for the flowers by stacking soil to build a tiny hill, of which boundary is formed with stones. The KKOT-BAT differs from Western gardens in principle by not planting grass because of an old perception in Korea that the grass covers the grave, not the garden. "I don't know if I thought unconsciously that the grave and the KKOT-BAT were related, but the KKOT-BAT is, to me, the nearest place to home -where I can always go to see -  and it's always in spring where flowers will overflow forever." (Artist's statement, June 2020)



Hope for Flowers, 2015


Woo KIM's first work with flowers firstly was realized in 2015, Hope for Flowers (installation, 2015). This work is the artist's attempt to capture the movement of the moment by gazing at the change in color, an important element of painting, as the flowers dry out gradually. This work was selected as the representative image of the art competition of the Belgian city Nivelles in 2020.


Hope for Flowers, Woo KIM, dries flowers, transparent tulles, painted vinyls, 2015

 Link for Hope for Flowers (2015) :


Discovery of the curved-lines in the squares


The followings images are Woo KIM's Stone series and Four Square series (Quatre Carrés), which is a study of curves through color planes.


Exhibition View 2020 © Xavier Portela


Untitled, Woo KIM, oil on canvas, 198,5 x 138,5cm, 2013 © Xavier Portela


Four paintings laid in the box painted with the Screen Purple color by Woo KIM, 125 x 61 x 5,6cm

The Series Quatre Carrés, Woo KIM, 2020 © Xavier Portela


Quatre Carrés, Woo KIM, oil painting on wood panel covered with ottchil, 30 x 23x 3,2cm, 2020


Woo KIM and Deongeori


Woo KIM, born in Seoul, South Korea in 1982, is a contemporary artist, mainly working on paintings and installations with the theme of "mutual relations". The artist graduated from one of the high-level engineering schools in Korea (KAIST) and in France (École des Ponts et Chaussées) changed to artist afterworking for an automobile company for two years in 2010. In 2013, after having DNAP from Rennes Beaux-Arts, Woo KIM decided to move to Belgium to studypainting and received the master's degree from Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in 2016. She has developed a concept, Deongeori since 2018. The Spring series is also an extension of the Deongeori. Deongeori is how she views the world. Deongeor is which vibrate themselves appear in different colors and shapes every moment. These Deongeoris create also different flows every moment.

Deongeoris, Woo KIM, acrylic on wood panel, 116,8 x 218cm, 2019


The exhibition was organized by Edificio(, a Belgian company specialized in cultural events and gatherings. The exhibition place, Solvay Library was founded in 1902 by Ernst Solvay as a sociological research institute, and has been registered as a Belgian monument since 1986.  


Exhibition Tittle : Spontaneous Hesitation by Woo KIM

Date : 2020.06.17 - 2020.07.15

Place : Solvay Library

Address: Rue Belliardstraat 137 1040 Etterbeek Belgium

all images/words ⓒ the artist(s) and organization(s) ,