“I reflect on my moods that have changed over time. My memory is steadily changing from grief to joy, and from joy to regret, depending on my state of emotion. I search for the colours in my faded memory and pile them up to have them reflected on my current mood—the colours of the day, and the memory of the day.” - Kim Deok Han

Whitestone is pleased to present “OVERLAID”, an exhibition of new paintings by Korean artist Kim Deok Han. This is Kim’s second exhibition with Whitestone and his first solo exhibition in Taiwan. Opening on August 15 and view through September 13, 2020, it will include a series of works that collectively underscore the significance of memory and space.

Kim’s paintings adopt East Asian lacquer with sandpaper to create surface oscillating in colour and texture. His works reside delicately and elusively in abstraction, evoking the time and space of memories yet evading all literal reference. With their polished layers, Kim’s paintings register and generate minute shifts in perception, echoing resonance while creating their sensory silhouette.

Beginning with a blank canvas, Kim first applies a thin layer of lacquer. Then, he mixes lacquer with white clay to the second layer. In controlled and repetitive movements, Kim continues to add colours one layer at a time, often using sandpaper to polish the lacquers. Such practice leaves traces of the upper layer and sometimes reveals the hidden layers. The pattern is embedded onto the canvas in the manner of sedimentation or erosion. Every painting is methodically brought to a state of reflection by this systematic yet organic process. With his attention to detail and repetition, Kim’s expressive technique also reveals strong affinities with various Eastern practices, in its intensely meditative pattern-making, used to create imagery, narrative, or spiritual votive.

Kim Deok Han was born in Daegu in 1981. He now lives and works in Seoul. Kim graduated with an M.F.A. from Myongji University specializing in Art Conservation and Restoration in 2015 and a B.F.A. from Pai Chai University specializing in Korean Traditional Lacquering in 2009. He is also the recipient of the Arts Award at the 2nd Incarnation Cultural Arts Foundation (2019). His works had been exhibited in Korea and across the world, such as Lee Ungno Museum, Daejeon (2020), Whitestone Gallery, Hong Kong (2019) as well as Art Mora Gallery, New York (2016).



1F, No.1, Jihu Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei City, 114, Taiwan

Tel: +886 2 8751 1185

Opening Hours: 11:00 - 19:00
Closed: Monday

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Kim Deok-Han (b. 1981) is of a newer generation and expresses the sense of "淡" through his use of a traditional material: lacquer. The artist overlays lacquer in multiple colours and repetitively peels them off, leaving only traces of each layer. This laborious process usually takes six to twelve months, as time and patience is required to allow each coloured layer to dry completely before another is applied. The artist explains that his process creates a record of time and space. By peeling off and leaving just traces of any one layer, he captures their accumulated presence and reveals individual moments of the past in the plane of a single painting. At the same time, using the ancient technique of lacquer work ensures that his painting will be preserved for thousands of years. Kim's meditative approach to the material he uses, and his choice of earthy colours inspired by traditional Korean hanbok dresses, creates striking and thought-provoking paintings.
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