Kim Sundoo captures rough yet warm and cozy landscape in ink and color onto a canvas. He studied Korean Painting at Chung-Ang University and Graduate School and currently is a professor at the university. Artist lyrically draws warmth of life and affairs of mankind and yet expresses Eastern painting in diverse through his own unique experimental techniques such as jangji technique, inverse perspective, collage, and steel ink painting. Kim strives to convey the Mother Earth of his hometown not with formative method but as a genuine story.
“Stars are like wild flowers blooming on top of a dark cloud. Stars gleam even through an overcast sky. Here, the dark cloud is the Mother Earth. If stars are imagined as loving and adorable flowers, then the night sky becomes more beautiful.”
- An excerpt from the artist’s note
To an artist who favors to express what he has realized in life with poetry or proses rather than with drawings, writing is an effective way to reveal the subject of the painting. Kim says that expressing the fundamental work to ground his art world in words is to give its particular order of formative language. Unlike oil painting where gesso is used, he uses jangji method where he eliminates the groundwork for the background, layers colors several times to allow the colors used underneath to fluoresce. The artist does use traditional painting technique with jangji paper in the background, but with ‘inverse perspective,’ he captures space with his own unique viewpoint. Kim’s work method is also reflected in the artist’s To Show The Star series, a homage to the late Yi Chong-jun’s short novel of the same title. This particular series depicts dreams, desires, and meanings of true lives in the reality through metaphors that stars carry. Kim Sundoo reinterprets Mugyuochae (墨有五彩; sub-colored ink), color black carrying every color, creating experimental collage works where ink is painted with a brush and its brushstroke is cut out with a pair of scissors. By cutting out the ink’s stroke and revealing the ‘colors’ inherent in the ink, Radiant Fireworks series was born and this has developed into ‘steel ink painting’ where void spaces of perforated steel plates are filled with ink.
Artist Kim Sundoo explores contemporary aesthetics from jangji technique, which is considered to be the starting point of Korean oriental paintings, narrows the gap between ink and color, and line and shape, drawing life’s awareness through aesthetics of lines. Kim’s works are part of public collections at National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul Museum of Art, Sungkok Art Museum, Ho-Am Art Museum, Kumho Museum of Art, and more.