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Jongku Kim

Jongku Kim, Hankwang Museum


1963, Chungcheongnam-do


Painting, Sculpture, Installation, Photography



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Jongku, Kim's Solo Exhibition
Jongku Kim

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Jongku Kim attempts to grate time itself in the works he presents in his exhibition ‘He-Story.’ Kim’s creations are extremely labor-intensive, executed by grating huge masses of iron into powder, which he then uses to make ink for his large-scale calligraphy works. The transformation of iron during Kim's work process is not only physical; it also involves a profound transformation of meaning. Iron, as a symbol of the material civilization of modern times, is used here as a symbol of the human desire for constant progress. Here, iron is a skyscraper as well as a weapon that, in the blink of an eye, can destroy the civilization that has been built over centuries. By transforming solid iron into a fine powder, the artist removes its massiveness and aggression, allowing it to assume a physical form that is so delicate and impermanent that it can be altered even by the subtle movements of air. Kim compounds this minimal materiality by adding liquid to it, using it to create the ink he uses to paint. By producing calligraphy using iron powder, Kim creates works of fine art that imply an innate spirituality and, furthermore, realize complete dematerialization. Kim calls his works landscapes; they become the points of departure for his personal monologue, one that asks questions of human nature. His calligraphy works using iron powder?that is, his landscapes?suggest that the process of sublimation and are the beginnings of a new breath which has been suppressed.