Oan Kim: Fanfares
May 21 - June 11
I had the pleasure of having lunch with Oan and his wife Albane the day before his opening at The MAC. We were joined at the table by Oan's art dealers from L.A. and Seoul as well as one of Oan's collectors. This was Oan and Albane's first trip to Dallas. Oan wanted to try a dish that would reflect Texas cuisine, so we suggested he have the chicken fried venison steak. Oan seemed to enjoy it although the Texas sized portion did surprise his Parisian sensibilities! Oan told us stories of their life in Paris, his photography and his music. He co-founded M.Y.O.P. , a group for independent photographers. Oan is also the front man for his rock/jazz band Film Noir. He brings these talents together for his current exhibition "Fanfares" at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary.
I stopped back by The MAC today to take a few more photos. A soundtrack of Kim's jazz infused indie rock was playing in the gallery along with his video compilation. It took me back to the opening reception in which Oan performed a 30 minute set alone with the video projected on him.
The relaxed easy energy of Kim's music plays nicely with his photos lining the walls of the gallery. The video accompanying the performance and the soundtrack that continues throughout the exhibition consists of stills from Fanfares as well as old black & white movie clips.
The press release for this exhibition tells us the series of photographs titled Fanfares take the viewer into a world of music with imagery that will immediately bring to mind night life and New Orleans Jazz culture. Kim is able to capture the energy of the night club in a beautifully candid way. He works loosely, much as the musicians do, improvising as he goes to give himself freedom from predictability and contrived compositions. Over the years he has developed an approach of the medium that is not strictly documentary, nor purely conceptual, narrative or pictorialist, but it is informed by all of the above, re-questioning the balance of these elements at every new series of work.
Jeannie R. Lee had this to say about Kim's photo titled "Fanfare" in her recommendation on ArtScene. "...a man's head is improbably horizontal to a marble tabletop. Nearly touching him is the mouth piece of a well-worn trumpet jutting out between somebody's legs -- while somebody else's hand is pulling a cigarette from out of the unidentified trumpet player's front jeans pocket. The number of hands reaching for smokes, clasping knees, and touching strangers -- all in this single cramped shot -- sums up the story of the collapsed sense of personal space that we have all experienced late at night." Here is a shot of "Fanfare"
I look forward to future art encounters with this amazingly multi-talented artist. I close with this final photo of Oan Kim and Albane at The MAC on the night of his opening reception.