Working since the 1980s, Korean artist Kim Eull is known for his complex and highly personal paintings, drawings and installations concerned with identity and tradition.
Kim began painting self-portraits to explore identity as early as 1994, eventually completing thousands of such works. Often rendered in earthy palettes, the self-portraits take on heavy themes. In the mixed-media image Untitled (1995) Kim painted himself holding his heart, blood splattered all over his dress shirt. Similarly, in one of his Me paintings from 1995, Kim depicts himself with a black eye; the aggressive, palpable brushstrokes in the work match the violent tone of the artist's face.
Particularly known for its exploration of ancestry and identity is Kim's 'Blood Map' (1997–2002), a series of paintings that range from portraits and family trees to landscapes and maps. In a 1999 painting sharing the series' title, a root is painted over Korean paper in red to mimic blood, while in Copy of Mountain Map (2001), tiny red dots, made to look like blood splatters, are sprawled over the middle area of a map. Perhaps the most literal work from the series is Arilang Hill (1997), in which faces are depicted hovering above luscious green hills. Equated with trees, family ties and blood relations become as natural as the landscape.
Towards the end of the 1990s, Kim shifted from painting to drawing. While in 1998 a fire broke out in his studio and destroyed almost 400 artworks, Kim had also long been debating the legitimacy of painting as a medium. After the fire, the artist nearly exclusively devoted himself to drawing and dedicated years to various projects. From 2001, his monumental 'Miscellaneous Drawings' series, for example, saw Kim commit to making 1,000 drawings every three years. The work was theme-less so it could be more organic and free the artist from the constraints of thematic work. A random mélange of landscapes, found-object and collage-like works, as well as text-based and figurative drawings, the series reads like a free-form journal.
Through this continued emphasis on personal histories, introspection and self-reflection, Kim's drawings can be seen as an extension of his early self-portrait paintings. What distinguishes his later works from his early series, however, is the latter's more spontaneous and honest—or as Kim states, 'natural'—representation of himself.
Kim playfully refers to his current-day studio as the Twilight Zone, and created two life-size models of the space for My Twilight Zone Studio, his 2018 exhibition at Kunsträume Michael Horbach in Cologne. By inserting themselves into replicas of his space (which were adorned with drawings and toys), viewers were given insight into the artist's process.
Kim was a jewellery designer, carpenter and pastor before becoming an artist. He studied metal craft at Wonkwang University, receiving his degree in 1982. He then earned his MFA in jewellery design at Hongik University in 1989. He was awarded the Korea Artist Prize in 2016 by Korea's National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. He has exhibited internationally at several art institutions and galleries such as Space Mom Museum, Cheong Ju; O Museum, Tokyo; and the Nam June Paik Art Center, Yongin, amongst others.
A strong lineup of art shows are being offered this fall, more so than other seasons.With two big biennale events – the Gwangju Biennale and Busan Biennale – kicking off last week, major Korean museums and galleries have opened a plethora of exhibitions to attract the influx of international art professionals and local art lovers.
The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) will open an art show on Wednesday to showcase the artwork by four finalists of an annual artist prize, the museum said Tuesday.The Korea Artist Prize has been awarded to the country's leading contemporary artists since 2012, jointly with the SBS Culture Foundation, and been holding an...
SEOUL, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) – The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) will open an art show on Wednesday to showcase the artwork by four finalists of an annual artist prize, the museum said Tuesday.
Drawing is the body and spirit of Kim Eull (1954~). The drawings of Kim Eull holds expansive spectrum encompassing various genres including painting, sculpture, installation and etc. beyond the limitations of the narrow definition and form. Kim had majored in metal craft and received attention with painting and the artist has been emitting...