Myeong Beom Kim

Myeong-Beom Kim: A native of South Korea, Kim's solo show at the Thomas Masters Gallery includes several object-sculptures and an installation on the theme of "Breath" or, more properly, the belief that life is in all things.

The coup de theatre is a leafless tree with all its roots that floats in the gallery, apparently suspended by clusters of helium-filled balloons. The balloons will, of course, drop to the floor as their helium leaks out. The tree will remain up near the ceiling, as if buoyed by the breath of onlookers. It doesn't add up, but it doesn't have to. It's a cloud of mystery in an otherwise stark, hard-edged environment of white, red and black.

Several small works, made of clay and colored white or blue or red, pick up on the balloon shape. The white one is particularly expressive, as in addition to the end that's gathered and "tied," it has a prominent omphalos or navel. Other pieces, involving or recollecting fire, again evoke the exhalation of breath. None surpasses the wonderful simplicity of three matches set out on a pedestal with directness and almost religious purity.
Alan Artner

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