What appears to be an infinite black vortex in the miniscule space nestled between the Asian restaurants on East 10th Street are actually the detailed paintings of Korean artist Minjung Kim. Entitled “The Room” (not to be confused with the Tommy Wiseau flick that’s always playing at Sunshine) the exhibit is the artist’s first solo show in New York in over a decade, and it could not have found a more appropriate home than Oko, the nondescript East Village gallery known for its immersive art experiences.
“It is such a tiny space,” says Kim. “It becomes much more intimate.” From afar, Kim’s paintings appear densely monochromatic, but a closer look reveals carefully crafted waveforms, as if the works themselves buzz with magnetic energy. Given the intricacies of the paintings, it comes as little surprise that Kim is formally trained in East Asian calligraphy.
In a Chelsea gallery, the impact of Kim’s work might be fleeting but at Oko, it is felt intensely. “That street is very busy and the people are just walking by,” Kim says. “Suddenly you go into this room and it is very calm – it makes you stop what you’re doing.”
The Room opens tonight at Oko, 220 E. 10th Street, 6-8pm and is on view through March 1st.