The protagonist of Yunchul Kim’s project “Effulge” is a fluid material which has a very particular, dynamic behaviour that is sensitive to magnetic, electrostatic and gravitational forces. With this self-designed material, Kim creates highly aestheticised objects and installations that are impressive both as sculptures and as dynamic images. Many of the contemporary experiments in areas such as data visualisation, computer simulation and digital video animation use the visual metaphor of the pixel as the smallest unit, which is then presented in clouds and complex dynamic configurations in order to represent change and diversity in data structures. While it is relatively easy to do this in the fully controlled and virtual environment of the digital medium, it is Yunchul Kim’s special achievement to have developed a material realisation of such dynamic structures which we can observe in action and at close range. While we have come to believe that everything is possible in digital space, we are yet taken by surprise by the “tuneable materials” in Kim’s installation and their miraculous behaviour. They remind us of the alchemist’s desire to create, and give us an eerie sense of what it means to push the limits of the natural.
Yunchul Kim South (South Korea)
VIDA 15 - Third prize