Korean Artist Project with Korean Art Museum
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Jiwon Kim ─ Closer_curated by Sunjung Kim
The 1970s in Korean art history can be characterized as a tendency towards flatness of painting and art for art's sake as exemplified in Dansaekhwa, meanwhile, the 1980s was a decade when social and political contents were highlighted as important elements in art as exemplified by Minjung art. In the 1990s, due to the democratic movement and the economic development, there were a lot of political and economic changes in Korean society, which influenced the artists' choice of subjects and materials. Many artists began to turn their attention to the issues of daily life. Jiwon Kim, upon returning to Korea in the late 1990s from studying abroad, began to paint quotidian scenes of everyday that would otherwise pass us by, which he magnified on canvas like photographic close-ups or cinematic zoom-ins. He would paint his own living room and the rooftop of his father's house using urethane paint, a material normally used for coating canvases to prevent rusting, and called them Heavy Picture, Heavy Landscape. In his ‘Similar Wall, Same Wall’ series (1998-1999), he painted walls and fences that are commonplace on the streets and that we pass by with indifference. He painted these structures on canvas, linen, and industrial vinyl, in a variety of sizes. Kim's ‘Still Life Painting, Painting’ series (1998-2003), which started with his enlargement of the flower-printed drinking glass that he uses during his daily routine of brushing his teeth, draw attention to everyday objects that most people consider insignificant. It was in the ‘Still Life Painting’ series that the mendrami flower (cockscomb), which has become the artist's best-known subject, first appeared. This virtual exhibition at the Art Sonje Center reconstructs Jiwon Kim's work of the late 1990s around the theme of everyday by exhibiting paintings from his ‘Still Life Painting, Painting’ and ‘Similar Wall, Same Wall’ series. The ‘Similar Wall, Same Wall’ paintings are exhibited on the second floor, and the ‘Still Life Painting, Painting’ paintings on the third floor. By exhibiting the paintings of commonplace street walls under the artificial florescent light of the Art Sonje Center's second floor space, and by hanging the paintings of interior stationery objects in the naturally lit third-floor exhibition space, we hope to encourage a concentrated viewing experience and provide an opportunity to play with and reconsider the relationship between daily life and objects.


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