“Burning Gravity” brings Minjung Kim to Monaco for premiere exhibition

Monaco Minjung Kim

Sotheby’s Monaco is hosting South Korean calligraphist and watercolour painter Minjung Kim’s first-ever exhibit in the Principality: Burning Gravity. 

South Korean-born Minjung Kim knew art was to be her métier from an early age. She pursued her passion throughout her youth, studying oriental painting at Hongik University in Seoul, before heading to Milan to train at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, where she was influenced by the expressionist works of Constantin Brâncusi, Carl Andre and Brice Marden.  

Over time, the artist, based between New York City and the south of France, forged her own path, drawing from her traditional Korean training and blending it with the minimalist and abstract genres she has adopted.  


Now, Minjung Kim’s simple yet powerful images are being showcased at Sotheby’s Monaco in a show entitled Burning Gravity, which pulls on a selection of works from her Street, Mountain, Phasing, Sculpture and Order & Impulse series created from 2017 to 2023.  

Her pieces are made with layers of nearly translucent Korean Hanji paper, using different techniques and materials to achieve the desired look.  

The use of this type of paper has a sentimental aspect for the artist, who recalls playing with the paper scraps left on the floor of her father’s print shop. The effect is somehow both earthy and otherworldly. 

“I feel the weight of life is too heavy and it comes from gravity of body,” says the artist. “I’m so eager to achieve my status of anima (the unconscious part of your mind that works automatically, without introspection or awareness) without body-gravity. The whole active process of making art is burning my own body through Hanji paper.” 

minjung kim monaco
Order & Impulse, 2023, Minjung Kim


Kim’s work has been exhibited around the world over the past two decades, including at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Rome, the Hermès Foundation in Singapore and White Cube in London. 

Her works are also found in the collections of major institutions such the British Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Leeum Museum and the OCI Museum in Seoul, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Princeton University Art Museum in New Jersey and the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama. 

The Monaco exhibition will run from Thursday 21st September to Monday 30th October at Sotheby’s Monaco Gallery – found at 20 Avenue de la Costa – with a special event on Tuesday 26th September at 6.30pm, which will feature a talk between Kim, famed French art dealer Almine Rech and Bernard Picasso, the art collector, curator and grandson of legendary artist Pablo Picasso.  


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Photos supplied by Sotheby’s Monaco