Documentary Review: The Man Who Paints Water Drops (2020) by Brigitte Bouillot and Oan Kim

For a lot of artists, their topics have a deep connection to their world view, their previous and one expertise which maybe nonetheless haunts them to today, although this hyperlink is sort of troublesome to understand for the viewer. Generally the theme, for instance, with a masterpiece akin to Munch’s “The Scream” or Picasso’s “Guernica”, is clear, albeit with out possibly getting the various particulars and finer textures of the work upon first viewing. On the subject of an idea akin to water or water drops, the thought itself is akin to multi-leveled metaphor, it’s too summary to search out the aforementioned connection, regardless of acknowledging the extent of ability that comes with portray this topic realistically. South Korean artist Kim Tschang-yeul, nonetheless, made a profession portray water and water drops, amongst many different topics, however when requested about his works, he claimed “Water drops imply nothing to me. If something, they assist me erase recollections.” When he died in 2021, his son Oan Kim got down to make a documentary about his well-known father, tackling not solely his physique of labor, but additionally their relationship and why water was a conduit for Kim to deal and at last let go of a few of his most traumatic recollections.

The Man Who Paints Water Drops” is screening at Florence Korea Movie Competition

Over the course of 79 minutes “The Man Who Paints Water Drops” sheds some mild on Kim Tschang-yeul, the person, the daddy and the artist, specializing in the genesis of a few of his work, how he turned well-known all through the artwork world and, maybe most significantly, how the picture of water drops carries a manner of understanding a life-long trauma. A kind of occasions proven within the documentary is the opening of a museum devoted to Kim’s work, on the island of Jeju, with the picture of the artist standing in one among its empty rooms, observing the white partitions the place his works will grasp within the close to future being a type of visuals that are well-suited to sum up the gist of this enigmatic particular person. Whereas Oan Kim and co-director Brigitte Bouillot have finished their greatest, gathering a mess of archival footage displaying Kim giving interviews and opening exhibitions in lots of cities of the world, there may be nonetheless some form of distance all through the film, as if the topic nonetheless one way or the other evades being analyzed.

Nonetheless, this degree of distance is probably additionally essential, to be able to hold from making hasty assumptions. Very similar to the customer of a gallery, the digital camera then captures the just about photo-realistic works of Kim, lingers on them for some time, sustaining a quiet, nearly contemplative tone all through the film, for the work in addition to the artist. In the identical manner, Oan Kim, in a remark to a number of the footage displaying household life, observes and retains his distance, portraying a person, who, as a creator and a father, appears very reserved and introverted. With the addition of mentioning his previous, his start in North Korea, his experiences within the Korean Conflict and traumatic occasions he witnessed, we’re given a big key in understanding the artwork in addition to the person, to some extent, not less than.

In conclusion, “The Man Who Paints Water Drops” is a quiet, meditative documentary about Kim Tschang-yeul, the artist, the person and the daddy. Oan Kim and Brigitte Bouillot have discovered a becoming method to their topic, respecting the emotional nature of a son attempting to grasp his father, but additionally mirroring the delicate, deeply private nature of the artwork and its hyperlink to its creator.



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