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May 01, 2008|PAUL YOUNG

There are dozens of photography shows worth visiting at the moment, including New Orleans-based David Halliday at Stephen Cohen and "Three From Britain" at Rose Gallery. Both are excellent, but I'd also like to recommend the young L.A.-based artist Soo Kim.

I first came into contact with Kim's work in early 2007 at Sandroni Rey Gallery, and then again earlier this year at the same gallery. In both cases, she presented large images of dense cityscapes, first Istanbul and then Reykjavik. What made the work so memorable is that she carefully cut into her photographs and removed panels and sections from facades. She then added backgrounds to create a semi-transparent city that was as complex as it was dreamy.

Now she's back with an equally beautiful body of work (at Sandroni Rey; sandronirey .com; ends June 14), which applies a similar idea to a different subject. Most of her images depict a young Asian girl lost in thought and draped across a table with a reflective surface. The rest show details of the Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, where glass planes reflect tree branches and blue skies.

In the former, she cuts into the image with hundreds of carefully composed patterns, which suggest branches, birds, flowers, Islamic designs and traditional screens. In the latter, she simply leaves the image alone. Yet both "speak the same language," as Kim says. "They both oscillate between real and imagined spaces."

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-- theguide@latimes.com

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