Shim, Kyung-Ja 심경자, 沈敬子

En 2002
Papier, Encre
H. 100.3 x D. 80.9 cm
M.C. 2016-40
Don manuel, Shim, Kyung-Ja 심경자, 沈敬子

Shim Kyung-Ja transformed traditional ink painting with technical innovations and her abstract style.

Shim Kyung-Ja (born in 1944) studied at the department of Oriental painting at Soodo Women’s College of Education (now Sejong University), between 1962 and 1968. There, she studied under Kim Ki-Chang (1913-2001), the principal Korean continuator and reformer of ink painting in the 20th century. In keeping with the master’s teaching, the first works she presented in the early 1970s reflect the technical and theoretical context of the Korean artistic tradition. However, they also feature a degree of artistic experimentation that broke with this history.
At the time, Shim Kyung-Ja had already begun to implement a new and original creative process. The first stage of this process consisted in taking long walks out of doors with papers and black ink and colours. Using the ancient printmaking technique of rubbing, consisting in pressing a motif in relief onto a sheet of paper and then rubbing it with ink, Shim Kyung-Ja compiled a collection of textures and motifs made from multiple natural and artificial surfaces. She stored these papers at home after each walk, and then, when working on a composition, looked through them and tore out and stuck on any elements she felt would be useful to the work, which she then finished with a brush.
From the 1980s, her compositions became easier to read. The colours became less intense, and the multiple collages, layered in individual entities or scattered over the entire surface of the work, were now agglomerated in a solid mass. The clear separation between foreground and background, combined with the presence of partially symmetrical structures or circular central motifs, impart a cosmological dimension to her compositions. This is heightened by recurrent references to landscape traditions, as materialised notably in horizon lines and mountain silhouettes.