Suah Im


Übermenschen (Knoblauchmann erschien!), 2023 courtesy the artist and EIGEN + ART Lab.

A solo exhibition by Korean artist Suah Im at Galerie EIGEN+ART Lab Berlin 8.11. – 16.12.2023.
Suah Im describes her artistic work as “the search for the essence of the self“, with themes that give content to “confronting challenges“ and “overcoming limitations“.
In her paintings and installations, she creates situations which are ultimately to be understood as existential and whose dimensions of meaning and creative possibilities she opens up and explores.
Suah Im deconstructs her body consciousness and converts parts like the nose into objects of perception. These transform in appearance and become symbols of her image-formed situations, objects and stories  and can be engaged with as multi-layered parables. To behold a situation is the beginning of the ability to see through it. To envisage it is to possess the will that engages with existence in the right moment. All figuration and impressive language used by Suah Im are tools for her artistic research and her expressive possibilities. Inspired by the symbolism of ancient Chinese Daoist philosophical teachings, her reach extends toward symbolic interpretation, thereby surpassing realistic perception. Whether Suah Im lives this out in her drawings and aquarelles on paper, in her sculptures, her video installations and her performances – everything is metaphor for an imagination that is as intuitive as it transcends boundaries and as conscious as it is dreaming.

Exhibition view, 2023 courtesy the artist and EIGEN + ART Lab.

She exaggerates into the grotesque and the absurd, mutating objects, appearance and the essence of the figures into the alien. Again and again, the boundaries are broken through a grotesque absurdity. Franz Kafka’s story “Die Verwandlung“ has provided an exemplary literary model for such an artistic strategy. Suah Im’s works have centrifugal forces; an abyss is ready to open at any moment and the absurdity that is present may unexpectedly trigger ambivalent smiles or horror. 

Exhibition view, 2023 courtesy the artist and EIGEN + ART Lab.

Suah Im, born in 1988 and raised in South Korea, studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart (Prof. Birgit Brenner) from 2013-2019. 2022-2023 she is a master student at the UdK Berlin (Prof. Nina Fischer). She has been awarded several scholarships and prizes (a.o. 2020 Prize of the Werner Pokorny Foundation, 2021 Kunstpreis kunsthub Leinfelden-Echterdingen).

Exhibition view, 2023 courtesy the artist and EIGEN + ART Lab.

Press release by Werner Meyer