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7

Kim Tschang-Yeul

Untitled (Water drops), 1973

Estimate:

100,000 - 150,000 CHF

Kim Tschang-Yeul

Kim Tschang-Yeul

Untitled (Water drops), 1973

Untitled (Water drops), 1973

Estimate:

100,000 - 150,000 CHF

Lot sold:

226,800

CHF

Kim Tschang-Yeul

1929 - 2021

Untitled (Water drops), 1973


Oil on canvas

Signed and dated lower right;

signed Tschangyeul Kim and inscribed Nr. 39 on the stretcher

100 x 81 cm (unframed)

This work is in very good condition. The canvas is slightly undulated. Very close inspection reveals some light wear to the extreme corner tips. There is one area of light colour variation in the structure of the canvas at the lower right edge, due to artist's choice of medium. No restoration is apparent when examined under UV light.


Please note: Condition 16 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Galerie Jasa, Munich
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1975

Kim Tshang-Yeul is considered a pioneer member of Dansaekhwa, an artistic movement that emerged in South Korea in the early 1970s. Sharing aesthetic sensibilities with Western Minimalism and monochrome art, Dansaekhwa's artists had a distinctive philosophical approach, seeking to connect with nature, paying particular attention to the property of the materials and refusing their colonial legacy. The work on offer is among the iconic examples of Dansaekhwa's early visual manifestations and embodies the movement's hallmarks.


Born in 1929 in the current territories of North Korea, Kim Tschang-Yeul endured the Japanese occupation, the division of the country after World War II and the Korean War. As an attempt to escape from traumas and heal painful memories, Tschang-Yeul began his iconic painting series of translucent water drops in the early 1970s. As Tschang-Yeul explained in a press release disclosed by his gallerist Tina Kim in 2019: « The act of painting water drops is to dissolve all things within [these], to return to a transparent state of ‘nothingness.’ By returning anger, anxiety, fear, and everything else to ‘emptiness’, we experience peace and contentment. » (Press release for the exhibition Kim Tschang-Yeul : New York to Paris, 24 October 2019 – 1 February 2020, Tina Kim Gallery, New York). Meditative repetition and austere beauty of nature then emerged as a remedy for the artist's past traumas.


This composition not only reveals Kim's ability to represent the evanescence and transparency of water, but also demonstrates the key roles of both the pattern and raw canvas. On one hand, the seemingly similar water drops highlight the idea of uniqueness through repetition and evoke purification rituals. Although Kim spent most of his life in Europe, he infused his oeuvre with Zen Buddhist and Taoist principles of his upbringing, depicting water as an entity capable to dissolve and purify. On the other hand, the voids within the raw canvas create both literal and intellectual spaces for the natural pattern to flourish, thus reminding the viewer of the ever-changing quality of nature.

As a whole, the painting stands on a fine line between abstraction and figuration, combining the Eastern and Western influences of the artist.


A particularly striking and balanced composition, this work offers multiple opportunities for exploration. It stands as a tribute to the Korean leading artistic movement of the time, as well as to the poetry of nature in its most sober expression.