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Kwanhoon Gallery
195 Kwanhoon-dong,
Chongno-gu, 110-300m,
Seoul, KOREA   map * 
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Seen City
by Kwanhoon Gallery
Location: New 1F, Kwanhoon Projects
Date: 18 Mar - 7 Apr 2009

An urban dwellers pursuit to redeem analog appreciation in a digital era

The works of Jun-Ki Kim are observations of inhabitants in modern cities and their lifestyles. The urban scene is not only origin of his creations where he lives and contemplates, but it is a space that he perceives and decomposes. His creations are incubated by observing and contemplating the city in which he resides. Although his motives are gathered from dwelling in the city, rather than identifying himself as the urbanite that breathes and socializes, he objectively observes urban life from a distance.

The reflective and refractive properties of mirror and glass object are commonly observed phenomena on modern buildings and public transportations, such as subways and buses. While Jun-Ki Kim’s earlier work focused on recreating this reiteration and intervention, it has recently shifted on refining composition and applying intense colors to this idea. His previous works would vary from images of skyscrapers with busy streets to insightful images of insignificant incidents which were impressively conveyed. The contents of his current work focus on the later of the two styles.

Jun-Ki Kim contemplates on the relationship and incidents that occur when overlaying the images that abruptly approach him and show openness towards various interpretations that are expressed by spectators. While maintaining the underlying approach from his previous exhibition, his current exhibition shows less interest on the external contour of the city and more concern on understanding the innate mind of individual urbanites. An acknowledgeable note of his work is the variable and harmony he creates by overlaying images from a practical point of view.

Jun-Ki Kim shows consistency in his selection of theme and materials as his use of mirror and glass extends to his earliest works. Although the mirror is commonly conceived as self-reflection and sometimes vanity, Jun-Ki Kim perceives it as a tool to associate ‘self’ with ‘subject’ to display a setting where reality, illusion, and the overlay of illusive reflections coexist. His works dissolve the boundaries between reality and conception by exploiting reflective and refractive materials to reveal the modern urbanite and his/her disoriented identity. In his most recent work, Jun-Ki Kim interprets the disorientation of identity as the result of a repetitive cycle between the modern city dwellers' frustration, compulsive spending, and desire. Jun-Ki Kim’s work from a current exhibition, which combines glass and mirror with LED panels and sheet paper, creates an elegant and unique effect. The mirror and glass materials he adopted educe impressions of both modernism and bleakness, and his exploration of these materials continues despite the painstaking fabrication process and delicate internal property. A complete piece of work comprises of overlaying the glass with neatly cut sheet paper and his original hand drawn image. A light is projected from the rear of the completed work to create an illusion of multiple images resulted by the reflecting and refracting properties of the composing materials. The artist explains that the display of variable images is to bestow self reflection by stretching the boundaries of desire and standpoint of the modern urbanite. Jun-Ki Kim’s selection of materials for his work is unique and his themes have notable characteristics. The individuals and objects in his work do not actively communicate with the spectator. The anonymity of the city remains and he shows suspended emotions among characters. Most characters in his work are shown in public settings, such as subways and parks, but their attention is confided to digital devices, such as cell phones and portable game devices, alienating themselves from their surroundings.

Most of Jun-Ki Kim’s characters are anonymous people who represent the modern urbanites consumption of images and contents. They are portrayed as feeling alienated among a crowd and their time consumed in virtual reality with digital images. The artist enables the spectator to recognize and comprehend the space he/she is associated in by identifying the expectations and setbacks of the modern urbanite and his/her indulgence in virtual reality to escape strenuous existence. The intent of the artist is to redeem analog appreciation by conveying the absurdity of modern urban culture through these portraits. by HAKYEHOON

We perceive the world based on our principles and understandings. As we can choose to see what we wish and we can understand that which we have seen, I have set my eyes on an era where an image can replace reality and where modern urbanites consume images and contents. My work will venture only skin deep observing reality to contemplate the consumption, desire, and its compulsive expenditure in the digital era of self-affection and self-gratification. This project that began by observing and analyzing the condition of digital addiction hopes to achieve realization and confirmation of the desires and compulsions emerging as an aftermath of digitalization. - Artist Junki Kim 

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