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Kibong Rhee (b. 1957) achieves a perfect sense of the ephemeral in his hazy, dreamlike landscape paintings, in which he layers painted plexiglass and sheer fabric above canvas in order to create a convincing optical depth that draws the viewer in.

The scenes in these works appear to be in the process of either disappearing and taking form, capturing a between a moment in time and space.

The diaphanous quality of these images is informed by the foggy and humid landscape surrounding Rhee’s studio in Korea. Water plays a crucial role in these paintings, as Rhee believes that water, in its variety of forms, embodies the fleetingness of life.

Kibong Rhee has had solo exhibitions at Tina Kim Gallery, New York; and Kukje Gallery, Seoul. His works have been included in the Gwangju Biennale, Korea; Changwon Sculpture Biennale, Korea; the Mediations Biennale, Poland; the Busan Biennale, Korea; and the Moscow Biennale. Works by Rhee have been included in exhibitions at institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; the Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul; the Daegu Museum of Art, Korea; the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taiwan; the Seoul Museum of Art; and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. His works can be found in the private collections of the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; and the Seoul Museum of Art.

In Korea, Rhee's works belong in the public collections of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul Museum of Art, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, and Artsonje Museum.

In the upcoming fall, Rhee will be exhibiting as part of the LACMA show Ink Dreams: Selections from the Foundation INK Collection. 

Video

Tina Kim Gallery visits painter Kibong Rhee in his studio. Watch Rhee’s unique process to achieve a perfect sense of the ephemeral in his hazy, dreamlike landscape paintings, as he layers painted plexiglass and sheer fabric above the canvas to create a convincing optical depth. The artist’s works on canvas reflect his interest in a continual state of disappearing and taking form—a phenomenon he has likened to water flowing. 

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