My sky story is trying to talk about the cycle of nature. Humans instinctively seem to have created a kind of behavior of mind like a habit of imagining while looking at the sky in everyday life, as well as a longing and exploration of the unknown world. Wishing for a longing in the sky of the day that begins with the rising of the sun. Ending the day's well-being in the sky of the setting sun as the sun goes down. Isn't the daily manners of saying thanksgiving as a habit? People who had the universe view of the geometrical thinking of the Cheonwonjibang that the sky is round and the earth is plat were living on this earth. Representatively, the pond is the same, and the meaning of the Cheonwonjibang is conveyed through a round island in a square pond. The water accumulated in the pond there, projecting the heavens, the earth and the whole image, suggests that it is a cosmic space. My paintings are also shaped as a flat surface of a square canvas that is good for complacency and a circle that is good for meditation. It is also made up of horizons of land and sky. Based on the fundamentals of the universe, the sky, the earth, and people, they are always getting new inspiration from nature. While experiencing life, we are trying to create a space for meditation where we can sympathize with the universe while leading a modernized screen by combining the memories of the potential life and the pieces remembered in our traditional life. In addition, it attempts to realize the reason of life in the nature of nature by drawing in the thought of unwieldy nature that was buried in the lives of the old ancestors who lived with nature.




The Star that Keeps the Memories of His Childhood

Park Young-taek (Professor, Kyounggi University/ Art Critic)

Kim Yu-Jun’s painting is composed of Minimalist background that accentuates the delicate (almost hyperrealistic) depiction of figures, characters, and numbers located on the bottom of the canvas and the materiality of its structure. While simple in its appearance, it gives an impression that it is conceived of multiple pictures and methods. The issues of the predominance of monochrome and planar qualities in the 1970s, post-1970 hyperrealism or figurative art, and the resurgence of Koreanness (ethnic culture or knowledge about the tradition) are layered in his art. This practice could also be comprehended as a reflection of the path of contemporary Korean art’s rumination on the meaning of ‘art.’ In his recent works, the memories of his childhood and the emotional imageries about his hometown become more conspicuous. The subjects of Korean traditional culture, hometown, memory, naturalism gains significance.

Roland Barthes said that “the feature that distinguishes human from animal is that they possess the memories of their childhood.” There is no human without the memories of their childhood, and only human are conferred the identity of being human through the possession of their past. In his recent works, Kim considers the physical sense of nature that he experienced in his youth as the medium of his art. He scatters the particles of his memory that are imprinted in his body and magically recalls the vestiges of the lost reminiscences.

Black dots float on the white background. The texture of the surface of the monochromatic background is finished in delicate touches. On top of the ‘minimal’ and flat background, the artist enhances the texture – tangible and protruded– in some part of the picture, which more or less diminishes its planar quality. The dense part of the canvas made up of the mixture of silica and Emery powders stimulates the tactile sense, while hardly noticeable. We need to look closely at the picture to perceive it. Within a limited temporal and spatial distance from the work, we can sense many different emotions. While monochromatic, the surface transforms infinitely. Although it looks like a flat plane, the painting creates various irregularities. These facts suggest that the artist attempts to compromise the monochromatic planar quality, which could look too simple and dull, with the painterly picture full of textural features.

Over the textural and tactile picture, black circle/dot is placed like the moon or an egg. According to Kim, this shape materializes a star. The star shining in the distant sky can be read as a metaphor of nature that is still so inaccessible and mysterious, the face or existence of somebody (like Kim Whanki’s dot paintings), or personal stories and reminiscences. The overwhelming black dots stand still and dominantly on top of the white background. While painted with acrylic colors, the hue that resembles the color of black ink gives the sense of ink painting to his oil painting. The same quality can be noticed in the realistic depictions in the bottom of the canvas. Overall it strongly leaves the impression of the Oriental Ink Painting.

In another work, a large white star (a round dot) is painted in the center of the canvas. The contour is drawn with a pencil. The lines are smudged. Sometimes the artist adds a sheet of circular paper on the surface, rather than using the materials that have perceptible surface textures; it is a painting with an object. The glued thin material forms another layer in the painting, conferring the artificial/modern sense, which contrasts with nature/tradition images depicted on the bottom. Besides, the monochromatic and flat materiality of the circle that shines in gold and silver – the artificial substance that replaces paint – rejects the planar quality. The wrinkles of the paper and the external landscape that are highlighted by its surface render another screen within the screen, generating a depth to the image.

In the lower part of the picture, certain images are painted with thin and light lines, which pair with the massive star at the top of the canvas. Kim painted the historic sites based on his memories or borrowed the images from the classics: pine tree and nut pine tree in Kim Jeong-hui’s Sehando (A Winter Scene, 1844), Mt. Inwang in Gyeomjae Jeong Seon’s Inwangjesaekdo (After Rain at Mt. Inwang, 1751), Buddha statues and stone pagodas in Unjusa Temple, and part of Kim Jeong-ho’s Daedongyeojido (The Great Map of the East Land, 1861). The small and adorable images shine sensuously. Among them, constellations emerge, and blue and red dots are added to them. The artist writes the year in the Dangun era, the artist’s first name in Chinese character, and the title of the painting, ‘Time-Memory’ with thin and small brushstrokes. These characters float on the picture sensuously, forming a contrast with the thick and rough texture of the background. The picture is graphic and designed, and thus concise and harmonized.

Kim’s recent works target the common sentiments of the Korean people and the basis of this emotion. Indeed, this approach can only be conceived by the people of the generation who bear profound and empirical knowledge about Korean traditional culture and possesses the nostalgia to one’s childhood and hometown. Young people would not have the same memory. Kim studied and practiced contemporary Western art. However, he has incorporated the memories of his childhood and the emotional experiences of the natural environment of his hometown and materialized these memories using diverse methodologies. This approach reflects the progression of post-1970 Korean contemporary art and the sensibilities of the lives that the generation has gone through. On the snow-white canvas, a black dot/ star has risen. The quiet picture that delivers his stories that imply the traditional culture reminds us of some legends or myths, such as Midang Seo Jeong-ju’s Jilmajae Songs (Legend of a Tile-roofed House).


profile about Kim, Yu Jun

M.F.A, B.F.A Dept. Painting, Fine Art college, Hongik University, Korea

Solo Exhibition 48times. (1984-2020)
Pyo Gallery, Sun Gallery, Gallery Artcelsi, Park Young Deuk Gallery, Chung Gallery, Gwanhoon Gallery, Jahamun Museum of art, Gain Gallery, Gallery Icon, Gallery 2000, Soo Gallery, Gallery Dol. Ilho Gallery, Yuji Gallery, Songwon Gallery etc.,

Group Exhibition & International Exhibition
Opening Memorial of Danwon Museum of art Exhibition
誕生.birth Exhibition, nature & Human
Hongik International Art Festival
Alumni Artist Artfair
International professor Exchange Exhibition
Gwangju Artfair

Main Collection
Samsung SDS, Multi Campus, Samsung SDS 삼성SDS Erope Co., Samsung SDS USA Co., Samsung SDS Singapore Co., Samsung SDS India Co., Department of Defense Convention Center, Seoul High Public Prosecutor's Office, Yeoju Public Prosecutor's Office, Seodamun Post Office, Cancer Center in Gangwon University Hospital, Seoul University Hospital, Hyundai Museum of art in Hongik University, Institute of Technology and Standards, Consumer Protection Board, Samhwa Building, LG Elec. Gumi LCD, Gyeongju Education Culture Center, Hansol Co., Ssangyong Cement, Samsung Hospital, Woochang Plaza, Minjae Building, Broadcation Center, SK Telecom, Maeil Newspaper, Daedong Building, Hyundai Hospital, Doosan, Kyungsoo Steel, Grand Intercontinental, Coex Intercontinental, Sambu Golden Tower, LH Apart Byzantine Mozaic Glass Mural(37,000x3,100cm), Dobong-gu Office, Phoenix Park, Electronic Components Research Institute, SK HUB, Sambu Offistels, Sejong Hospital, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Busan-Shimonoseki perry, Dong Hae Navy Golf Club etc,.

Judge, Korea Art Competition, Gyeonggi Art Exhibition, Jeonbuk Art Exhibition, Gangreung Sinsaimdang Art Exhibition, Songpa Hanhsung Bakjae Art Exhibition, Gyeomjae Art Exhibition, Danwon Art Exhibition etc,.

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