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Po Kim

The artist’s Korean name is KIM Pohyun. He was born in Changnyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do, in 1917 and spent his childhood in Daegu. Kim Changdeok (1910-1983), who was one of the first generation Korean artists who lived in Japan, was his older brother. KIM studied at Meiji University School of Law and Pacific Arts School. In Japan, KIM met his first wife, who was originally from Gwangju. After Korea’s liberation, he settled in his wife’s hometown, Gwangju, and taught as a professor at Chosun University from 1946 to 1955. He led the founding of Chosun University’s Art Department and served as the dean. While active in Gwangju’s art scene, he was especially close to Chun Kyungja and was introduced to Kim Whanki and Nam Kwan from Seoul. In 1955, KIM was invited as a research fellow at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and moved to the U.S. He made connections with the artists who gathered in Coenties Slip, including Agnes Martin. KIM’s experience of helping Martin to select the works for the Whitney Museum of American Art’s group exhibition served as a momentum for him to direct Martin’s solo exhibition at Charles Egan Gallery in New York. From 1965, KIM stayed in Paris for a year and interacted with Nam Kwan who was studying there at the time. In 1968, he returned to New York and met his second wife Sylvia Wald. Following her advice, he started to use the name ‘Po KIM’ as it was easier for the local people to pronounce. From then on, he held solo exhibitions across the U.S. such as in New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Ohio, Philadelphia, and in Germany such as Munich, and Baden-Baden. He also participated in numerous group exhibitions.

 

Po KIM was forgotten for a while in Korea. He made his name known again in the Korean art world in 1992, by holding a solo exhibition at Haenah-Kent Gallery in Insa-dong, Seoul. Here, he encountered Chun Kyungja again for the first time in 40 years. In 1995, his solo exhibition held as an invitational exhibition at Hangaram Art Museum in Seoul Arts Center received great attention. In the same year, a critique was written by Barbara London – a prominent curator and critic who formerly worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1997, KIM participated in Asian Traditions/Modern Expressions : Asian American Artists and Abstraction, 1945-1970 at Zimmerli Art Museum, New Jersey. The exhibition featured around 150 works by 57 artists from Korea, China, and Japan, including 9 Korean artists such as Kim Whanki. In 2007, the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Deoksugung) presented With Agonies With Joys: 60 Years of Po Kim’s Art, a large-scale exhibition that organized KIM’s oeuvre from the past 60 years. In 2011, Po Kim and Sylvia Wald Museum of Art was established within Chosun University Museum of Art. In 2013, KIM received the Dongbaek Medal, Order of Civil Merit, for his achievements as an overseas Korean of national merit. In the same year, the couple’s exhibition, Po Kim & Sylvia Wald was held at Gyeongnam Art Museum. In 2014, KIM passed away at the age of 97. In 2017, Whanki Museum presented a retrospective exhibition, PO KIM : Then and Now for the centenary of the artist’s birth.
Biography

 

 

 

Artworks
Untitled

c. 2013

Acrylic on canvas

182.88 x 121.92 cm

Untitled

c. 2013

Acrylic on canvas

30.48 x 30.48 cm

Untitled

2013

Acrylic on wood panel

30.48 x 30.48 cm

Creation 4

2010

Tape, acrylic on canvas

182.88 x 152.4 cm

Creation 1

2010

Tape, acrylic on canvas

182.88 x 152.4 cm

A Blue Wind A

2009

Collage and acrylic on canvas

182.88 x 243.84 cm

Girl and Star

2009

Tape, acrylic on canvas

91 x 122 cm

Red Square

2007

Acrylic on canvas

182.88 x 152.4 cm

Flying Thought

2006

Acrylic on canvas

182.88 x 152.4 cm

Flying Birds and Fish

2006

Collage and acrylic on canvas

182.88 x 152.4 cm

Memory of Bali

2003

Acrylic on canvas

152.4 x 182.88 cm

View from Window 2

2003

Acrylic on linen

86.36 x 96.52 cm

Tiger 1

2002

Acrylic on canvas

116.84 x 96.52 cm

Palm Tree

2001

Acrylic on linen

76.2 x 91.44 cm

Pagoda

2000

Acrylic on canvas

182.88 x 152.4 cm

Girl with Flower 3

2000

Acrylic on canvas

45.72 x 60.96 cm

Pond 1

2000

Acrylic on linen

63.5 x 76.2 cm

Tree Peony 5

2000

Acrylic on canvas

27.94 x 35.56 cm

Untitled

1999

Acrylic on canvas

182.88 x 152.4 cm

Warm Island

1998

Acrylic on canvas

213.36 x 182.88 cm

Seven Heads

1992

Acrylic on linen

182.88 x 152.4 cm

Blue Curtain

1992

Oil on cotton

101.6 x 121.92 cm

Blue Bird

1986-1988

Acrylic on canvas

213.36 x 548.64 cm

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