8 Exhibitions That Surprised and Delighted Us at Miami Art Week
Each year, art and design commingle during Miami Art Week with exciting new contemporary furniture debuting at Design Miami and radical contemporary and modern art overwhelming the senses at Art Basel. But it’s not just the fairs that delight; it’s the programming that takes place throughout the coastal city—from activations in the glitzy Miami design district to gallery openings in the tiny neighborhood of Little Haiti. There’s so much to see in every category, it’s impossible to cover it all, so we did the work for you! Read on for the best of the best this week in Miami and beyond.
Minjae Kim at Nina Johnson Gallery
Furniture designer Minjae Kim’s work has so far defied expectations. You might expect rigid edges, smooth surfaces, and stressfully precise angles from an artist who trained as an architect, but instead, with Kim, you get ripples, irregularities, and unevenness. In Miami gallerist Nina Johnson’s new space—designed by Charlap Hyman & Herrero—14 new works by Kim embrace you with ease and consideration.
Kim first began to receive attention in 2021 under the blanket of “Asian art.” The designer, however, never intentionally referenced or addressed his heritage through his practice until now. “IYKYK” (“If you’re Korean you know”) is the designer’s first show directly addressing the precious nature of inherited non-Western traditions. “The work is essentially a collage of fragments, form, texture, and symbols that I identify as Korean,” says Kim. “Though everything was new by definition, there was an unexpected familiarity when I finally saw the finished pieces altogether.”
The cultural references are subtle, perhaps not immediately recognizable to the Western eye, with lacquered wood referencing traditional ottchil finishing and looming moon jars, traditionally made with clay, here reinterpreted in resin-coated fiberglass. Wired mesh is also used to replicate the moiré pattern found in traditional woven horsehair headpieces. “While Miami is often referred to as a diverse city, Asian cultures still face tremendous discrimination here,” says Johnson. “Presenting Minjae’s work during such a highly visible time will help elevate voices not typically heard in South Florida.”