KIM Kulim: Traces of Life and Death

30 August - 16 October 2016 Seoul
Press release

Kim Kulim is a pioneer of Korean Avant Garde art, who transcends various genres including visual art, theater, film, music, modern dance choreograph and stage design. Although a widely shared concept today, Kim was at the forefront of ‘deconstructing genre’ since the late 1950s. Since his first solo exhibition in 1958, the artist continues to explore deconstructing forms of his works through various experiments challenging the traditional boundary of art methodology. Based on his repeated theme of Yin and Yang, the artist, to this day, stands at the forefront of contemporary avant-garde art as he shares his critical view on the modern society through his experimental art practices.


Firmly believing that “as times change the surroundings change as well, and so does the minds of people,” Kim focuses on creating works that reflects the zeitgeist. Therefore, his works are fabricated from contemporary objects. It contains his resolute message of which we live among the contemporary objects and they cannot be separated. In this exhibition, the artist especially states that he had pulled his inspiration strictly from the tragedy of ‘today’ and diabolical catastrophe within the tide of time in the present real world.


The exhibition will show his unique strong sensibility, as it presents the story of the veteran artist in eighties about the basis of reality in contemporaries.  


Kulim Kim (b. 1936, born in Sangju, Korea) formed an experimental group called <The Fourth Group> in 1969, and presented a series of performances including the happening Condom & Carbamine, which serves as a critique of contemporary Korea’s mainstream culture; happening A Funeral for Mainstream Culture and Arts. Also, he produced the first Korean avant-garde film The Meaning of a 1/24 Second, breaking free from the existing film grammar; the first land art in Korea, From Phenomenon to Traces (1970).

Crossing the boundaries between theater performance, film, dance and directing and leading the contemporary Korean art scene at the forefront. He has recently presents works that seek a diverse mediums and experiments based on the philosophy of Yin and Yang.


Kim Kulim participated in various exhibitions and projects including Embeddedness: Artist Films and Videos from Korea 1960s, at Tate Modern, London in 2015, Lille 3000 Festival 'Renaissance', Lille, France in 2015, Like You Know It All, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea, 2014, and A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance, Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom, 2012. He has also been invited to be a part of a group exhibition Postwar – Art between the Pacific and Atlantic 1945 - 1965 in Munich, German from October 14, 2016 to March 26, 2017 in Haus der Kunst Munchen.

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