Kim Jun Sik | 金 准植
1980 Born in Korea
2007 BFA, Hongik University, Seoul Korea
2012 Between the East and the West, Seoul Auction, Beijing 798 Area China
2011 Between Painting and Sculpture, Insa Art Center, Seoul Korea
2013 NEW POP, Gallery Sanjogion, Kyoto Japan
NEW POP-Art Plus Fashion Exhibition, Shun Art Gallery, Shanghai China
2012 Young Artist Group Exibition, Enjoy of Art Museum, Beijing 798 Area China
Manhwa, Beyond the Frame, Cartoon Art museum, Chungkang College of Cultural Industries, Gyeonggi-do Korea
K-Artstar, the Festival of Beauty, Insa Art Center, Seoul Korea
China International Museum Art Products Expo, Beijing China
EPISODE 1: Shall We Dance? , Lina Gallery, Seoul Korea
2011 the 9th Soul Auction, Hongkong
2010 Young Artist’s New Leaf, Gwanhoon Gallery, Seoul Korea
Exhibition of 100 Contemporary Artists, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Seoul Korea
2009 Cutting Edge, 10th and 11th Seoul Auction, Seoul Korea
2008 Full of Life, Luminarie Gallery, Seoul Korea
Heart Show 2008, Insa Art Center, Seoul Korea
Picking Apples, Park Ryu Sook Gallery, Seoul Korea
2007 Presents “Hello Chelsea!”, PS35 Gallery, New York USA
Recto & Versco of Korean Hyper Realism, LM Gallery, Seoul Korea
Fruits Exhibition, Insa Art Center, Seoul Korea
Sweet Beginning, Gallery CoCo, Seoul Korea
Star is Art, Insa Art Center, Seoul Korea
2013 Kyoto Art Fair，Kyoto Japan
2012 Art Beijing, SeoulAuction, Beijing China
New Realism or New Pop Art?
By Peng Feng Art Critic, China
The first question that crossed my mind when I got a close glimpse of works by the Korean artist Kim, Jun-Sik was whether they could be defined within the range of Pop Art. The reason is simple: Kim uses Campbell Soup cans that the pop artist Andy Warhol often used.
Upon a more profound reading of Kim’s work, however, one can easily find a clear difference between his work and that of Andy Warhol. On the surface level, first of all, Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup cans are lined up in a row. Perhaps this demonstrates Andy Warhol’s’ support and acceptance of commercialism. The Campbell Soup cans in Kim’s work, however, are all squashed flat. While there may be many different forms of flattened cans, such form is completely different from products that are displayed on the shelf in stores, waiting to be consumed. When looking at the cans that have been flattened by force, one might even go as far as thinking that the artist is trying to separate from something. While Andy Warhol welcomed commercialism, it’s probably not wrong to assume that Kim is trying to bid farewell to commercialism. Going on further, perhaps Kim is saying farewell to Andy Warhol, which would signify a separation from all traditional connections to Pop Art.
There is no doubt in the answer. The artist himself commented that the title of his past solo exhibition in Korea was This is not Pop Art. For whatever the reason the Campbell Soup cans were used in Kim’s work, it’s inevitable for his work not to receive the suspicion of creativity depletion when it incorporates the prototype of Pop Art. Beyond one’s expectations, Kim boldly chose to work with Campbell Soup can, and this demonstrates the fact that he is not afraid to revert to Pop Art through his art work. The reason he uses Campbell Soup cans is not to demonstrate the connection between his work and Pop Art, but to show that his work is fundamentally different from Pop Art. I believe that such choice is a wise one, because showing difference through sameness demonstrates a genuine difference.
Take Kim’s painting of the plum tree branches for example. This painting invokes traditional Chinese ink painting of plum trees. Upon closer inspective, however, it’s clear that the ink painting of the plum tree is nothing but imagination, just like Campbell Soup can was a Pop Art imagination. The branches are a painting and not real, but they look as if real branches have been glued onto the canvas. The juxtaposition of the two different styles of painting expresses the intention behind Kim’s painting. In a number of his works, it’s evident that some flowers were painted, while some others seem as if actual flowers are attached on the canvas. Upon a closer look, one discovers that both kinds of flowers were painted, and that the difference between the flowers is not a result of the use of real flower or painted flower, but the use of two different methods of painting. Some painters attach the actual subject
on their painting to add vivacity. If an artist is endowed with the ability to portray something as realistically as the subject, it’s evident that his or her gift in painting is already remarkable. The reason that Pop Art’s Campbell Soup cans and plum flowers from Eastern paintings become a motif in Kim’s work is precisely to demonstrate Kim’s gift in painting. His paintings proclaim that no matter how powerful the traditional methods of Pop Art and Eastern paintings of plum trees are, nothing can conceal his gift in painting.
While Kim’s work expresses the collision of new and traditional, and East and West, what’s more important is that his competence in painting can portray an object as if it were real. In that sense, one might categorize him as a Hyper-realist or a Realist photographer. On the whole, however, various techniques and styles are apparent in his work. Therefore, Kim’s work is much more carefree than Hyper-realism: his oeuvre can probably be referred to as New Realism, or Realism for today.