Kim Joon, one of Korea’s most notable contemporary artists, introduces new digital images of porcelain-like human figures. In addition to this new work, a selection of pieces from the artist’s previous series will also be on view.
Kim, who is based in Seoul, creates digital prints exploring themes of desire, memory, fragility and obsession. A master of three-dimensional modeling software, Kim composes richly detailed tableaux using digitally rendered porcelain and tattooed human bodies, successfully juxtaposing traditional Asian motifs, Western Pop references and luxury-brand logos.
Tattoos are a central motif in Kim’s work and he uses them as a metaphor for the hidden desires engraved onto the human consciousness. In his Fragile and Drunken series, porcelain bodies are covered with bold logos from brands such as Versace, Ferrari and Moët & Chandon, forming a surreal landscape reflecting society’s weakness for material objects. These human figures are hollow, missing limbs, and above all, imperfect—a recurring theme in his work. In the Blue Jean Blues series, Kim fabricates compositions out of fragments of idealized nudes as well as tableware and objects of Western Pop culture, alluding not only to material desires but nostalgic obsessions and attachments.
Kim Joon was born in 1966 in Seoul. His works have been exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery, London (where his work was featured on the cover of Korean Eye: Contemporary Korean Art, the book accompanying the exhibition of the same name); the Total Museum, Seoul; The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Kwachon, Korea; the Gwangju Biennale, Korea; and the National Taiwan Museum.
During the upcoming Venice Biennale, Kim Joon’s work will be on view in Frontiers Reimagined, an official Collateral Event focusing on globalism, at the Museo di Palazzo Grimani. The exhibition, open from May 9 until November 22, has been organized by Sundaram Tagore and Tagore Foundation International, a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to dialogue between Asia and the West.
Mounted in partnership with the Venetian state museum authority il Polo museale del Veneto, Frontiers Reimagined includes the work of more than forty painters, sculptors, photographers and installation artists from Asia, Africa and the West. For more information, visit www.frontiersreimagined.org.
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