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KOREA, B.1950
KIM, who was born in 1950, conveyed the realities of life in Korea on canvas in a hyperrealist manner in the 1970s. His longtime subject matter, bricks, has now become the artist’s trademark. KIM’s bricks, presented in a neutral and mechanical representation of real bricks, can be considered as Korean reinterpretation of Hyperrealism. KIM’s paintings are so distinctive that they paintings are clearly distinguished from traditional figurative art as well as American Hyperrealism, which the artist was influenced by. Thus, what characterizes his work is not hyperrealist technique it is simulacre, whereby an image becomes independent from the original, turns far more real than the original itself and functions as its own reality eventually.

KIM’s hyper realistic work, an unprecedented innovation, renders far beyond ‘representation.’ They pose fundamental questions about an ‘image’ and a ‘painting’ hence the artist encourages the viewers to contemplate. Ultimately, the artist delivers a far-reaching question: where is the truth and justice in this era in which history, reality and even the future have been rendered as simulacre? This is why we are so drawn to KIM Kang Yong’s bricks, which may seem like a harsh cold-hearted truth at first glance, as they reclaim sympathy and compassion.

This retrospective exhibition is organized into three sections. Section One presents an overview of KIM’s early oil paintings from 1975 to 1979 during which the artist emphasized ‘placeness’ and focused on the alienation of our daily lives. Section Two covers KIM’s experimentation with sands and soils from the 1980s to 1990s. KIM’s iconic ‘sand bricks’ start to appear during this period while his exploration of various techniques including pomo, an ink-splashing technique in oriental painting, is executed. Section Three displays artworks produced since 2000, which consists of KIM’s monochrome bricks, multi-colored works and other latest works. KIM’s New York Era in particular shows his ceaseless aesthetic exploration and technical experimentation which continue until today.
Reality+Image 1810-1865. 105 x 78cm. Mixed media. 2018.jpg
Reality+Image 1812-1630, 100x100cm, 2018.jpg
Kim Kangyong

Reality + Image 1812-1630, 2018

Reality+Image 1710-1681, 91x117cm, 2017.jpg
Kim Kangyong

Reality + Image 1710-1681, 2017
Reality+Image 1707-1644, 150x150cm, mixedmedia, 2017.jpg
Kim Kangyong

Reality + Image 1707-1644, 2017
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