Hyemin Gil was born in South Korea and is a multi-disciplinary artist based in London and Seoul. She completed her BFA in Contemporary Art from Konkuk University in Seoul, then moved to London and studied MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts (2021 – 22). She has participated in several solo and group shows. In 2018, she was invited to join an artist residency program at Culture Space Yang on Jeju Island, South Korea, funded by the Jeju Foundation for Arts and Culture. During the residency, she explored the historical background of the local area, expanded her interests in the relationship between human beings and the physical environment, and then went on to discover people’s perception and position between time and spaces. She presented her ideas and practice through several art events and meetings with local people. Since moving to London in 2021, she has continued to work on international projects, collaborating with different artists and curators. This experience leads her to explore the idea of senses through visual and audio materials and the position of human beings in the world. She employs various mediums in her situational works, and has the past editions recreated in order to reveal multiple layers of meanings behind the works when produced and installed at a different time and space.
Time is a measure of a non-stop progression of events from the past to the present into the future. Time manifests itself in the living with various rhythms and its own fragments of the moment. The flow of time exists in us unconsciously and is relative to the observer and their situations. It can be diverse and fluid. Past, present, and future coexist – according to the afterimage effect, our vision catches past and present simultaneously; based on the theory of relativity and my further thoughts on that, what if an individual’s sense of time is different? What if time can have various speed, then some time would overlap or create gaps? In my artistic concepts, time collide, intersect, and potentially generate a new time and space with new meaning and identity.
My work explores human senses by capturing movement and gaps of perceptions and emotions occurred over a time. This process appears as a glitch, error, and as white noise. I often bring invisible and intangible elements into the work, such as absence, sound, time, and memory, that has a strong echo and presence in us. A fragile image becomes abstract and formless negative space. Analog, natural, and digital elements in my pieces collapse and create new places in the work. Conflicting components produce possibilities and are magnified contrasts to one another, as distance evokes a sense of closeness, and materiality is closely connected with immateriality. Human errors, contradictions, rebellions, and complex systems are valuable elements to creativity. Unexpected journeys and human attributes have become a key part of my interactive and participatory works. I was inspired by the landscape alongside the senses that we feel connected to the place. This made me reflect on my subconsciousness.
I often moved within South Korea as a child and changed my habitat. Frequent moves lead me to re-examine my experience and previous pieces of work that travel with me. I enjoy experimenting with my ideas with new approaches and expanding myself as a borderless artist, questioning perceptions imprinted in society, that we hold and pass-through generations. I make use of various mediums such as video, installation, and writing, in my work. Especially using text: writing bilingually grows my love of language. Communicating through spoken, and written words led me to engage with and collaborate with others, and my project kind of developed into collective poetry. Exploring materials and challenging myself with creative methods expand my practice further.
Hyemin Gil, Pungyung Sound, 2022
Paper, light and ceramic,
10 x 10 x 20 cm for paper/12 x 12 x 14 cm for ceramic
Korean word ‘Pungyung’ is a homophone for wind bell and landscape. Without any sound, a light bell or pinwheel stays in the air, and you might hear what these bells speak. From our gaze, we recognize the presence of things with their absence. Like our subconsciousness, drawing inside the paper bells are only visible when illuminated and its translucency brings our attention to the realisation of the 'self'.
Hyemin Gil, Voice of Landscape, 2019
Ceramic and light bulb
7.5 x 7.5 x 9 cm each
The light bells represent the floating memory of people who lived on the land, resonating with the memories the audiences hold to themselves. It hangs close to the ground, reminiscent of a cuttlefish boat flashing bright lights far away from the horizon.
Hyemin Gil, Taxidermic Mount, 2022
Video installation (7’57’’), leaves and boots
Dimension variable, installed in 6 x 3.6 m room
Video installation (7’57’’), leaves
Screen inside of the monitor creates layers of time and space. Taxidermic animals, artificial flowers traditional patterns on the wall of ancient palaces shown on the screen contain a human’s desire for timelessness and perpetuity. But the transitory nature of leaves and crunchy smells of fall immediately give us a sense of season and time.