After the mid-1960s, the term “art of everyday life” appeared in the art world along with the emergence of conceptual art. With the popularity of 1980s Postmodernism, artists began to speak of life itself as art rather than of an idiosyncratic value of art. However, these propaganda-esque slogans were extremely difficult to understand. When we say that every action and gesture in life itself acquires artistic value, it may appear as though art has reached a kind of ultimate utopia. The truth is, artistic action becomes meaningless because value itself disappears. Another issue that arises is the fact that conceptually, the separation between art and everyday life does not disappear but continues to exist, no matter how much we say that “everyday life is art.” Thus, in order to speak of everyday life as art, we must first determine the methodological issue of how everyday life acquires artistic value. Kim Sundoo’s work has revived these long pondered questions.
This kind of narrative comes through in his Slow Landscape series. Slow landscapes are scenes that only appear when one slows down to perceive them. In his Slow Landscape series, Kim likens our pace of life to the speed of cars. Therefore, the speed of cars in this series alludes not to physical speed, but to symbolic speed and time that has excluded introspection as the result of its environment. If we name this speed the pace of our everyday lives, the artist does not believe that such pace gives us a chance or opportunity to face the world of truths about life. Thus, when we face the world at a pace that does not allow self-examination, we cannot see the holistic truth of causes and results, but only a fragmented final destination.
This kind of awareness is only possible when we can perceive both everyday life and its opposite, deviation. It becomes possible when our consciousness can transform freely through the process of deviation to everyday life and then back again. Through his I Will Show You the Stars series, Kim shows a world that becomes visible when such transformation takes place. Beautiful and dazzling things are not fixed forms; we can experience the peak of beauty when we are able to feel beauty and radiance. We can experience beauty and radiance when we experience a transformation of consciousness. Thus, whether we stand before a withering pumpkin vine, ivy crawling up a wall, sunflowers, or scarecrows, the glimmering truth of life reveals itself when we sense the meaning of why they exist and their relationships to ourselves.
The strength to see […] truth hidden in objects comes from an insight that can perceive both stops and slowness, and deviance and subversion from a relative perspective. Deviance is thus transcendence. One cannot be tied to one particular perspective in order to see both sides of a relative world. Kim asserts that the way in which a person of “value” living in a world of “values” can possess insight into recognizing valuelessness masquerading as value is by obtaining a transcendent insight that can perceive both sides of the relative world of values. To Kim, the practice of obtaining such transcendent perception is an avant-garde of lingering pauses.