Speech of Prof. H.S. Shivaprakash 

  At the inauguration of the solo-exhibition “Into the flowing formless” on Fr., 13th Jan. 2012 in St. Hippolyt, St. Pölten, Austria 


''I was the supervisor of Sung Min Kim’s Ph.D. Research on the aesthetics of Buddhist Mandalas at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. She developed an aesthetic approach to the subject on the basis of the philosophy and spirituality of Kashmir Shaivism. When I met her for the first time, I was skeptical: Why does a painter need a doctorate? But when I saw her paintings, I was sure that she would accomplish the theoretical research. 

I see a deep connection between her paintings and what she has discovered in her philosophical research. It is difficult to classify or explain her paintings, yet at the same time it is easy to receive and absorb them. They are very simple, but not easy. They are not mimetic, realistic imitations of the world. At the same time, they are different from the abstract painting, which is very influential in the art market today and often limited to illustrate the imposed ideas and intellectual concepts.

Sung Min Kim’s painting has deep roots in the classical Chinese, Korean and partly also in the Indian paintings. 

The human mind has diverse functions: functions of opening and of contraction. Sung Min Kim’s paintings dramatize this process of human mind. She creates the rhythm out of this process in her paintings, which is immediately perceived by the viewer, but cannot be easily explained. It is Consciousness, that unfolds Itself in colors. 

At the first glance her paintings are formless. But if we look at them closer and longer, there comes up forms to recognize. For example, in the painting titled ‘Dalai Lama’, I see after some time concrete forms, like Avalokiteshvara and Buddha. The Buddhist philosophy says: No form is fixed. The worldly forms are instable and constantly changing. These instability and fluidity of the world are expressed in the paintings of Sung Min Kim. 


Sung Min Kim is a very original painter, who developed an individual artistic language. She had a successful exhibition in a very prestigious place in India, India International Centre in New Delhi. For many painters, such a first success goes into their head. I speak highly of her attitude as an artist who did not run after success, and did not try to adhere to the style of the painting that was successful, but who searched further her own artistic way.

I am convinced that she will be discovered because she does not imitate anybody, on the contrary she will have many followers, and that her admirer will swell.''            


H.S. Shivaprakash (Professor, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India) is a poet and dramatist.