Hyunju Kim


Hyunju Kim

Lost Paradise, oil on canvas, 100×72.7cm, 2018

Translated through the disciplinary of painting, South Korean artist Hyunju Kim investigates subjects that concern the subconscious, memory, and feeling, which are painted onto canvases that are aesthetically surreal and figurative. “My inspirations often come from my own dreams, Old Masters’ work, and images that I found in my daily routine” explains Hyunju Kim. “In contents-wise I apply in three parts: a reinterpretation of old European masters’ work, a recreation of my own dreams-using digital collages, and some images from Google search to present a contemporary collective subconscious world.”

The artist compares painting to a parallel practice to that of dreaming, appointing herself as the creator for her dreams and pieces of art in equal measures, albeit, Hyunju refuses to label herself as an author. “I am the one who makes dream images and holds brushes and applies colors, but this “I” seems a mediator, not a main creator,” she elucidates. “The world of dreams is bigger than “I,” and the world of painting is bigger than a mere human being. This “I” is not important, and it has to disappear. The more I work, the more I tend to disappear.”

Sweet Tears, oil on linen, 35x27cm, 2018

Doubling, oil on linen, 35x27cm, 2018

Whether paintings are copies of photographs, used to document observations, are collections of abstract markings or applied as accumulations to all mentioned, Hyunju desires to recognize and explore her subconscious universe to therefore approach ‘the real’ that she senses in her dreams. “Although my open eyes never see my internal world, I believe my daily practice will take me to a clearer condition. I will see better, and I will feel better through paintings.”

Through solitary subjects, the artist’s pictures purpose to convey interchanging feelings that portray isolation and anxiety, imagery which transports the viewer into more profound levels of her individual imagination. In doing so, spectators identify sights abundant with murky contemplation or those insinuating at a creeping trepidation.

words by Katie Farley

Hyunju Kim

Blue Cézanne, oil on linen, 72,7×60.6cm, 2018