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Byungjong Kim: Remembering Memories and Returning Home
This section presents an overview of Byungjong Kim's oeuvre in a selection of his most representative works spanning the artist's career. The presentation takes the form of a retrospective with the artist's Black Revelation and Song of Life series at its center. Black Revelation is a groundbreaking yet controversial work that towers over the traditions of both Asian and Western paintings, two realms that may not seem to overlap in any common subject or technique. Song of Life is a series which Kim began in the 1990s and continues to the present. The series theme of "life" which was inspired by the artist's near-death accident, has now become a central subject in all of Kim's oeuvre. Another series, On the Street is a story about human, and ultimately human life. The series also overlaps in many ways with Kim's other works in the theme of life, but as art critic Eckhart notes, the humanity at its roots is what separates the series from others.
This section celebrates Byungjong Kim's return to his hometown Namwon with a selection of works portraying nature, landscape and emotional memories from his childhood years that deeply inspired his overall painting oeuvre. As a child with exceptional sensibility, the artist seems to have frequently spent his time in the pine tree forests, appreciating the surrounding nature. Since Song-dong, a village where Kim was born, is covered with pine trees, they appear in so many of is works that one has to wonder if there has been any other artist who has devoted to a single motif for one's artistic career to such an extent. Clearly, the artist, his hometown, and pine tree forests are inextricably connected to one another. Beside pine trees, other natural heritages of Namwon, most notably Mount Jiri and Seomjin River, also appear frequently in Kim's works. Works from the series such as Song of Life - Landscape of Red Flowers and Landscape of Life filled the canvas with bright, primary colors which echo the phrase, "color is life itself." The origin of the color is nature itself like sun, water, and forest.
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