Soft Crash/ aluminum, piezo, arduino / 330x330x165(d) cm / 2011

One of the defining characteristics of Baroque music is the basso continuo. In rock music, the basso continuo -- as represented by the bass guitar -- does not reveal its distinctive tones, drowned out as they are by drums and electric guitars. However, it does serve to add a sense of tension to the piece as a whole. Without that ever-present basso continuo, like the sound of a beating heart, the tension present in Baroque music would never have come to be. Though the basso continuo is nearly imperceptible, the beat of Baroque music owes itself to that sound. This is similar to the style of Tenebrism in Baroque painting. This style is characterized by a powerful contrast between light and dark on the canvas, as seen in the works of Caravaggio. By themselves, the dark backgrounds in Baroque painting may be meaningless to us, not representing any obvious object of perception, but they constitute an unconscious foundation that generates a dramatic sense of tension in the canvas as a whole. In other words, minute elements that are not directly perceived by the consciousness function to create a feeling of artistic tension.

Subsequent Events/ brass, piezo, arduino / 160x300x190(h) cm / 2012

The work of Kim Byoung-ho represents a process of creating a fantasy out of these minute perceptions. Kim gathers very tiny elements, imperceptible to the eye like viruses, and groups them together to create highly sophisticated forms. At first glance, the resulting shapes resemble the kind of ordinary objects and structures that we encounter on a daily basis. But Kim's works possess a tension within them that cannot be found in ordinary objects or simple structures. Like the sound of the basso continuo, microscopic viruses are endlessly bursting forth. Expressed in visual terms, they are like tiny bits of pollen flying through the air. It is for this reason that Kim's works are not simply objects, but fantasies. If they were simply objects, not only would there be no tension present, but no fantasy would take shape either. Fantasy must by necessity carry with it a relationship of tension with reality or the object. - Park Young Wook

Byung Ho Kim

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