Ramifying Frost (2023)    


A long-form multimedia project, "Ramifying Frost" is an evocative exploration of the heterotopic interactions that emerge from the thawing permafrost that binds two cave systems; Darangshi Cave on Jeju Island, and the Bone Caves in Assynt, Scotland. Considering the Bone Caves as a site twinned with Darangshi through their shared relationships to climate metamorphosis, Kim journeys to the Highlands of Scotland in order to connect with his personal hybridity as a Scottish immigrant and Jeju Island’s emancipation from the red complex during the Jeju Uprising.

Occupied during the last Ice Age, the Bone Caves serve as a subtle reminder of changing climates, the receding ice and debris not only warn us of the coming future, but also reveal the unknown and unsolved mysteries of the past. In an instance of twinned revelation, Darangshi Cave was discovered to be the site of a mass grave: the resting place of the victims of Jeju Uprising, missing since April 3, 1948. All civilians, the victims of the Uprising were slaughtered under guise of the ‘red complex’ - a vestige of late Japanese colonialism that sought to stifle dissent against the government by branding dissenters as ‘communists’, regardless of their political affiliations. Kim takes this raw historical wound that has shaped the lives and families of his native island, borrowing from the vast timescales apparent in geological processes and considering each cave system connected through the bodies of their human occupants.

This exhibition unveils the first part of the project: a new series of seven paintings, created using film and 3D modelling transferred onto canvas. Based around the medical term ‘heterotopic ossification’, where bone fragments form in soft tissues post-trauma, the imagery of Kim’s paintings manifests as faceted hybridity, fueled by his personal experiences as an immigrant to Scotland and by his cultural history: organic shapes melt with digital textures; limbs, organs and bones fuse with the landscape, just beyond perception. The body and the land become a seamless continuum, a fusion of tonalities that provide both the relief of revelation and the horror of awareness.

In "Ramifying Frost", Kim beckons viewers into an immersive realm where narratives of history, climate, and personal metamorphosis converge, inviting contemplation on the intricate interplay of past, present, and the impending future. Through his distinctive visual language, Kim extends an invitation to partake in a nuanced discourse that transcends temporal and geographical confines, sparking a dialogue that resonates on both visceral and cerebral planes.

Ramifying Frost, 50 x 40 cm, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 2023

Dislocated Enfoldment, 90 x 80 cm, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 2023

Tempo of Transience, 120 x 270 cm, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 2023

Mended Rope, 180 x 50 cm, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 2023

Confluence of Paths, 120 x 200 cm, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 2023
Metamorphic Rivulet, 200 x 120 cm, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 2023

the status quo, 200 x 150 cm, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 2022


For inquiries about the full video, please email sooo.un.kim@gmail.com
©Sooun Kim