Kiang Malingue is pleased to present “The House in the Trees”, showcasing a suite of eight drawings on paper by New York-based artist Kyung-Me. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery. Further developing a drawing practice that deals with haunting symmetries, uroboric infinities, embedded narratives composed of designs, furniture pieces and curios from different cultures and times, Kyung-Me considers the potential of mise-en-abyme structures in relation to the ways in which individuals form their own psychic prisons.
Since 2015, Kyung-Me (b. 1991, lives and works in New York, NY) has been creating intricate works on paper that combine and subvert artistic traditions such as handscroll or emakimono, and Western technical drawing by emphasising the labyrinthine and psychological aspects of architectural environments. Pivoting from making drawings of parallel projection to mapping a perspective that produce mirror effects along the centre, Kyung-Me created for the exhibition “Sister” in New York in 2022 a suite of eight lavish drawings set in two distinct institutions: monastery, and geisha lodging home (okiya). The drawings feature female figures that are as solemn and paralysed as the shrouded chambers, flawlessly decorated in order to reveal the uncannily organic that disturbs and collapses.
For “The House in the Trees” at Kiang Malingue, Kyung-Me further complicates the haunted anti-ruins by carefully arranging the rooms, juxtaposing Eastern and Western artefacts, relics, curios and furniture pieces from different periods. Named after respective centrepieces — The Mask, The Doll, The Bonsai, The Shrine, The Corridor, The Clocktower, The Slumber, and The Dollhouse, the painstakingly detailed rooms place a Noh Mask in a Meiji Era Tansu Storage Cabinet behind Frank Llyod Wright Sliding Doors; a Thai Buddha statue set on a Korean chest, lit by American Art Nouveau Tiffany lamps; Victorian fretwork in front of a Chinese lacquer cabinet, found in which are Ludwigsburg porcelain plates and a Russian nesting doll; a Nigerian Odudua helmet mask atop a 19th Century Edward William Godwin Octagonal Table — the radically eclectic, anachronistic drawings of excess explore horror vacui as much as claustrophobia. Re-imagining time as timelessness in isolated deterritorialised spaces, “The House in the Trees” testifies to an ever-vigilant gravity that at once pulls, grounds, spurns and deserts.
Kyung-Me is an artist based in New York. Her work explores potential architectures of the subconscious and how images, objects and memory are intertwined to conjure complex and spiritual spaces. Working predominantly in ink, Kyung-Me creates drawings of labyrinthian spaces which trace the seductive and sinister nature of entrapment structures. She is interested in the invisible architecture of entrapment—from the societal and familial, to the psychological and spiritual.
Kyung-Me received her MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2018. Her work has been collected by The Whitney Museum of Art, The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Magasin III. Recent shows include: “Sister”, Bureau, New York, NY (2022); “Introverse: Allegory Today”, 80WSE, New York, NY (2022); “Liminal Spaces”, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin, 2019; “Coniunctio” with Harry Gould Harvey IV, Bureau, New York, NY (2019); “Poor Thing” with Sydney Shen, Hotel Art Pavilion, Brooklyn (2018); “Copy Kitty”, Selena Gallery, Brooklyn (2017); and “Bad Korean”, 17 Essex Gallery, New York, (2016).
She is the author of two books, Copy Kitty (2020), published by 2dCloud and Bad Korean (2016), published by Spaceface Books. She also teaches undergraduate and graduate students at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Pacific Northwest College of the Arts.