Wandering between life and death


Untitled Video 4:39min, 2014

In 2011, my father passed away from liver cancer. That experience had a great impact on me. After his death, I felt very sad, guilty, and empty, and I could not continue my work. I needed to start over. I moved to Germany and began with these works in which I deal with death. One day, I found a metaphor for life in the round shape of the fizzy vitamins I consumed and how they melted and disappeared. I built a house out of powdered vitamins and threw it in some water. I filmed the scene in which the house melted away.

Fritz-Riedel-Straße Berlin, Video 22:11 min, 2014

It was my father’s birthday then. I wanted to celebrate the day, so I drew his face with water on a street. It was too hot to finish drawing his face because the water evaporated too quickly. For about two hours I tried to paint perfectly, but I couldn’t. I was exhausted and it was sad. In the end, I gave up. Through this action, I was able to understand that my father no longer exists and that I can no longer do anything to change this situation.

The outside of the house is firm, but the broken house is hidden inside.

„Swim John“ Exhibition outdoor swimming pool in braunschweig, 2019

Nothing in the objective world is as safe and stable as it seems. We should take nothing for
granted; nothing is forever in life or in art. In her current work, Min Kim addresses the unpredictability of life and death. The artist forms brick-like blocks from vitamin C tablets and
uses them to build urban landscapes, the way children build castles from sand. When it comes
into contact with water, the vitamin C begins to dissolve, creating a kind of foam from small air
bubbles. These burst unexpectedly and inexorably, like events in life.
The foamy mass is flushed into the drain and enters the sewer system. Only small, bubbly vitamin C blister residues remain on the floor, just like our dead skin cells after we bathe. On the one hand, Kim refers to health care for a long and happy life, and on the other hand, she refers to the concept of vanitas—the metaphor of homo bulla, the person in a bubble. The cycle of life and death is described as a constant transformation from living to dead and dead to living matter.
What remains is a reflection on mortality and finitude. Through the death of a person close to
Kim, this short-lived artwork was also created—ultimately, only memories remain.

-Elina Ije