HELENA PARADA KIM
HELENA PARADA KIM
Galleria Patricia Armocida is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in Italy by Helena Parada Kim, curated by Tiziana Castelluzzo, opening on Thursday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
For this occasion, the artist will present forteen new works, five oil on linen and nine oil on paper.
“My portrait painting is not about portraying a person's concrete figure but about expressing the cultural identity of that person” - Helena Parada Kim
Daughter of a Korean nurse who emigrated to Europe after the Korean War, and a former Spanish monk, born and raised in Germany, Helena begins to paint when she is a child. The multicultural environment she’s raised in spurs her to understand and explore the culture, the language, and the history of her roots, and in particular, the culture of her mother’s homeland of Korea.
While attending one of Germany’s most prestigious art schools in Düsseldorf as a student of Peter Doig, she comes across one of her mother’s old photo albums and is particularly struck by a photo of her and her five sisters before leaving for Europe, wearing the traditional Korean Hanbok attire.
Inspired by that photograph, which captures the desperation of a family on the brink of emigration and permanent separation, Helena decides to use the Hanbok as an element that best represents the theme of cultural identity central to her work.
After lengthy research, Helena creates the Hanbok series where the human figures are faded, blurred, much like in the photographs and memories of a past never lived. Despite outlines of hands and heads, the subjects disappear into the garments, becoming abstract, and the garments emerge as a symbol to depict the subjects as well as commemorate them.
In her paintings, the Hanbok represents an element of dignity and cultural survival that withstands the history of a geopolitically unstable place. Helena further explores this concept with the "Kyopos" series, where she depicts the daughters of Korean immigrants in Germany in traditional attire in an unmistakably Western and modern setting, aiming to mix and blur the various cultures, East and West, tradition and modernity.
This desire to create a link between Eastern and Western culture is also seen in Helena’s technique inspired by the Old Masters of Western European painting. Spanish Baroque painters like Velázquez and Zurbarán are a main inspiration for her work.
Helena Parada Kim was born in Cologne (Germany) in 1982. She graduated from Kunstakademie of Düsseldorf in 2009 and got a Masters in Painting with Professor Peter Doig. Her works have been shown internationally in galleries and public institutions.
Some notable solo exhibitions: Caché, Choi&Lager Gallery, Cologne, Germany, 2021; Wasser, Portraits, Schatten, Neue Galerie Gladbeck, Germany, 2019; Ausencias, Korean Cultural Centre, Madrid, Spain, 2018; ANDREAS BLANK & HELENA PARADA KIM, Choi&Lager Gallery, Seoul, Korea, 2018; Helena Parada Kim with Gorka Mohamed, Choi&Lager Gallery, Cologne, Germany, 2016; In Mother’s Hanbok, Galerie Tristan Lorenz, Frankfurt a.M., Germany, 2015; Helenes Room, Eiskellerberg, Düsseldorf, Germany, 2013; Helena Parada, Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer, Düsseldorf, Germany, 2010; Die Gesandten, Kunstverein Recklinghausen, Recklinghausen, Germany; 2009.
Some notable group exhibitions: Girl meets Girl, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Norway, 2022; Korean Eye, Seoul, Korea, 2021; Draw Art Fair with Choi&Lager Gallery, London, England, 2019; Korean Eye, Saatchi Gallery, London, 2019; NON SENSE MUSIC # 2 - BORDERS, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, 2018; The king of table, entretempo, Kitchen Gallery, Berlin, Germany, 2017; Weinosten, Hilbert Raum, Berlin, Germany, 2017; Please return to Busan Port, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Vestfossen, Norway, 2016; Art Busan with Choi& Lager Gallery, Busan, Korea, 2016; ASIA NOW PARIS Asian Contemporary Platform, with Choi&Lager Gallery, Paris, France, 2015; Self-Consciousness, curated by Peter Doig and Hilton Als, Veneklasen and Werner, Berlin, Germany, 2010.