Current Exhibition

Korean

Kim Kang Yong

b.1950- Korea

KIM, who was born in 1950, conveyed the realities of life in Korea on canvas in a hyperrealist manner in the 1970s. His long-time 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.

In Kim's paintings, bricks exist only as images. They appear to be bricks, but they are in fact merely images; we see the image and mistake it for a brick. In this way, the painting skillfully dismantles boundaries as it moves back and forth between the real and the image. Rather than being a receptacle to contain the real, the canvas is a tool for confirming the two-dimensionality of a virtual image unconnected with the real. Because the bricks seem so real, they give the viewer the impulse to touch them.

Shadow is another important element in understanding Kim's paintings. The artist has said outright that he has painted shadows rather than bricks. He carefully shapes a surface embedded with sand grains of a single color, as though leveling the ground. It is shading alone that transforms those grains into bricks, and it is entirely through the adding of shadow that the artist generates the effects of a divided surface, of some parts projecting outward and others falling inward, of bricks appearing jumbled or stacked high. Thus, the secret behind Kim's ability to produce an illusion of reality by giving the appearance of brick forms, or by giving them expression, essentially lies in shadow.

Because Kim's paintings are so realistic, they have often been categorized as hyperrealism. The artist has a different idea, however. "People often categorize my work as hyperrealism, but the bricks in my paintings are all an illusion. They are all 'virtual bricks.' For me, bricks are merely the subjects that express my artistic world; the bricks themselves are not important. The theme of my work is repetition and formativity," he says.
EDUCATION
1950Born in Jung-Eup, Korea
1978B.F.A. Department of Painting, College of Fine Art, Hong-Ik University, Seoul, Korea
1981M.F.A. Department of Painting, College of Fine Art, Hong-Ik University, Seoul, Korea
BFA College of Fine Art Hong-Ik University Seoul, Korea
MFA College of Fine Art Hong-Ik University Seoul, Korea
COLLECTIONS
Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Nat’l Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
Hong-Ik University Museum, Seoul, Korea
Sungkok Museum, Seoul, Korea
Ki Dam Museum, Jeju Island, Korea
Park Soo Keun Museum, Yanggu, Korea
Seoul Health College, Seoul, Korea
Korean Ministry of Foreign Affair and Trade, Seoul, Korea
Incheon District Supreme Prosecutors Office, Incheon, Korea
Pakyoungsa, Seoul, Korea
Sam Kwang Collection, Seoul, Korea
Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, USA
EXHIBITION
2023The Boundaries Between Reality and Image, The Columns Gallery, Singapore
2022Studio Kki, Paju
2020Seonggok Museum of Art, Seoul
2019Han Collection, London, UK
Gallery LVS, Seoul
2017Seoul Arts Center, Seoul
2016FN Gallery, Seoul
2014Gallery MAHA 21, Seoul
2013Partner Lichtenfels, Vienna, Austria
Gallery Michael Schultz, Beijing, China
2012Reality + Images, Galerie Michael Schultz, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2011The Seoul Art Exhibition 2011, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Legend of the Fall, Beacon Gallery
Kim Kang-Yong Suh Yong-Sun Exhibition, Ryumijae Gallery
2010Gallery Pakyoung, Seoul, Korea (solo)
Brick Opens Korean Modern Architecture, Clayarch Gimhae Museum, Korea
30th Anniversary of the Young Korean Artists, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
The More, THe Better, Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2009Reality + Images: New Paintings by Kimg Kang Yong, The National Art Museum of China (solo)
2008Contemporary Artists 55, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea
200738 Artists in Emporia tower, Seoul, Korea
CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE-Some 130 Artists, INSA Art Center, Seoul, Korea
Korean Hyper Realism, Gallery LM, Seoul, Korea
RED&BLUE, INSA Art Center, Seoul, Korea
Art Season Gallery, Singapore (solo)
Gallery Kaze, Osaka, Japan (solo)
Korean Painting from the 1970's, Seoul Art Center,Seoul, Korea
The 17 Brightest Artists-Latest Works, INSA Art Center,Seoul, Korea
2006Neuhooff Gallery, New York (solo)
Mono Gallery, Beijing, China (solo)
Reduction and Expansion of Contemporary Art, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea
Illusion/Disillusion, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Time of Life, The Face of Time, Seongnam Art Center Museum, Seoul, Korea
2005Korea Art Company Gallery, Seoul (solo)
Nature + Accident = Image
Master painting from Seven Great Korean Artists Gallery Korea in New York, USA
The most motable Korean artists of 22 Insa Art Center Gallery, Seoul
Magic Art, Chosun ilbo Art Center, Seoul
Art Center, Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul
2004Image Utopia Han Jeon Art Center Seoul, Korea
Art Cologne 2004, Messe, Cologne, Germany
COHENSION, Art Scene China, Shanghai, China
Looking for light and colors (Seoul Art Center, Seoul)
2003JOHYUN Gallery, Busan (solo)
Twenty Years with Park Ryu Sook Gallery, Seoul
Memory of Park Soo Keun, Park Soo Keun Museum, Yang Gu
2002Park Ryu-Sook Gallery, Seoul (solo)
10th Anniversary Exhibition of Gong Pyung Art Center, Seoul
Impressions by 10 Artists, Gamo gallery, Seoul
The Site of live, Yang Pyung Museum, Yang Pyung
stream of Sprits, Nepal museum, Nepal
2001The leading Contemporary Artists in 21th Century, Liz Gallery, Yang Pyung
200 Artists Exhibition, Sun Gallery, Seoul
2001Reality and Illusion, Sindoricoh Art Hall
Illusion and Reality: Hyperrealism Painting in Korea and America, Samsung Museum of Modern Art, Seoul
2000San Francisco Art Exposition, Park Ryu Sook Gallery San Francisco, CA, USA
Six Contemporary Artists From Korea, Comenoz Gallery USA
Park Ryu-Sook Gallery, Seoul (solo)
1999Kasan Gallery, Seoul (solo)
1998'98 Korean Art Awards, Seoul Art Center Seoul, Korea
Yeemock Gallery, Seoul (solo)
1997Origin Exhibition, Seoul Art Center Seoul, Korea
1995Chuje Gallery, Seoul (solo)
1992Yeemock Gallery, Seoul (solo)
1988Fine Arts Center , Seoul (solo)
1986Yun Gallery, Seoul (solo)
1984Cultural Center Gallery, Dae Jeon , Korea (solo)
1983Growrich Gallery, Seoul (solo