Jungsan Kim Yun-Sik




Marina Bay Sands, Sands Expo & Convention Centre



2017. 1. 12() 2017. 1. 14() 12:00 - 20:00

2017. 1. 15() 11:00 - 18:00

1 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018971 | T.+65-6688-8888 |



Jungsan Kim Yun-Siks Bul-Lip-Mun-Ja,

Fundamental Questions of the Essence and a Window for Seeking Answers


By Kim Yoon-sub (art critic and chief of the Korean Arts Management Institute)


The artist Jungsan Kim Yun-Siks Bul-Lip-Mun-Ja series implies key words of eastern philosophy and aesthetics. Its unique characteristic is to hold contrary or conflicting concepts in one work: reality and illusion, reason and emotion, inside and outside, and construction and deconstruction. This characteristic arises from the process of creation. After the cutting of traditional Korean paper, with caligraphy written on it, into small pieces and then recombining them, the process of creative formation is complete. Moreover in recent work, he attached lotus patterns and dried lotus petals, which are Buddhistic symbols, on the surface of his works. A harmonious background with small pieces of paper reminds us of a pond of the corrupt world and the attached objects remind us of blooming flowers of enlightenment. To understand more about the recent works of the artist Jungsan, lets examine his previous works.





Symphony of Death and Resurrection

Jungsan Kim Yun-Sik has created artwork for thirty years and has been working as a professional artist for more than ten years. As well as being an artist, he is a temple cuisine expert and he fosters students at the Temple Cuisine Culture Department in Dongsan Buddhist Academy where he is the chair. The origin of his current art work has a special relation to his interest in temple cuisine. In his previous work he received attention with his paintings painted with nail polish ? a symbol of feminine beauty. His various color aesthetics are in the same context as those expressed in the varied colors of nature in temple cuisine.

This interest developed into his Emptiness () series: nail-polish-painted Buddhist icons on one side of thousands of match boxes while the other sides were left empty. It is a visualization of the Buddhist philosophical idea that  Ultimate nature is emptiness and Emptiness is ultimate nature ( ). For the past two years he has expressed the same idea with the very unexpected material of razor blades. He reinterpreted Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land, a Joseon Dynasty painting by the famous painter An Gyeon, by putting about forty thousand razor blades in a grid-like frame. He also gave viewers a strong impression with a 1.5 meter diameter sphere formed of forty-eight thousand razor blades hanging on eighteen hundred strings. The thirty thousand hanging razor blades reflect light. This recreates a totally different vision by radiating a huge amount of energy from small gathered pixels in the Indras net effect.

These works are a series of transformations of symphonies of the Romantic composer Gustav Mahler. In particular, the works made with razor blades are simultaneous reinterpretation of Mahlers symphonies No. 2 Resurrection and No. 9. In Buddhist perspective, death is interpreted as an another beginning and Nirvana is an entering into the transcendental world which crosses the boundary between good and evil. The fact that a melody of death can be heard as a solemn and hopeful message is more important than a general understanding of Mahlers music. These works convey the artists message that our lives ? living on a  tightrope on the boundary between death and life ? are symbolized by the soft and sharp aspects of  razor blades.






De-constructed Script Communicating Essential Elements

After the razor blade works, the artist Jungsan Kim Yun-Sik has been presenting the new series Bul-lip-mun-ja (ء bu li wen zi) which is interpreted as not depending on words or understanding beyond words. This work is a visualization of an interpretation of the most basic and fundamental communication. In essence, words which are the most common method of communication are limited and this series presents the concept that our ideas cannot be expressed completely by only language.

The significant characteristics of his Bul-lip-mun-ja series is that it is based on written characters, symbol of communication, but it transcends the limits of language. The process of creating this work involves writing calligraphy on Hanji, traditional handmade Korean paper, and cutting the paper into small pieces and then constructing the work with these cut pieces of paper. In this way the artist delivers the message that although our communication depends on words, for true communication and communion to occur, we should pay attention to the essential elements which are beyond the conventions of language.





Speaks of the Go Match between Lee Se-dol and AlphaGo

Jungsan Kim Yun-siks artwork has its genesis in East Asian philosophy. From a broad perspective, he presents the idea of emptiness, a method of seeing the world, simultaneously with the matter of an individuals perception of the world. It seems that he is asking the questions: How is human thought constituted? Where did we come from? and What is the meaning of life? Very thoughtful and meditative, his works seem to embrace the most fundamental dignity of humanity. In this respect, the works presented in this exhibition, in New York, represent an awareness of problems between humans inner self and two points of view of the world.

The main work is the Bul-lip-mun-ja (Interpretation of Fundamental Communication) series. The ancillary works consist of reinterpretations of works of literature and a work that has as its theme the Go match of the century between the Go grand master, Lee Se-dol, and AlphaGo. The first work of literature that inspired his work is from Jeok-byeok-bu (Red Cliff Rhapsody), an essay of reminiscences of the Battle of Red Cliffs written by the Song Dynasty literati Su Dong-po (1037~1101) and the second is the 1970s Korean novel The Ball Shot by a Midget. Jeok-byeok (Red Cliffs) is a famous scenic spot in China and the site of the Battle of Red Cliffs in the Three Kingdoms era (220-280 A.D). By taking the motif of the place of the Battle of Red Cliffs, Kim Yun-siks art work Su Dong-pos Jeok-byeok-ga represents the brevity and meaninglessness of life in a place that transcends time and space. The work Jo Se-Hees The Ball Shot by a Midget is focused on the psychological conflicts caused by the difficult circumstances in early modern Korean urbanization. These works dont tell their stories by depending on presenting forms. Instead they follow the artists unique method of creation, reconstruction after deconstruction which pursues fundamental communication beyond language.

Eventually, Jungsan Kim Yun-Siks Bul-Lip-Mun-Ja series may be a story of insight by which we see the world. Many people are concerned that our moral civilization is becoming impoverished as material civilization continues to grow. The subject matters of his works, including the matter of life and death, razor blades, and an interpretation of AlphaGo, are mere windows with which to see the world. The important thing is that we should look carefully at the other side of the essence. This is the same way that our lives are not driven by the eating of food but by searching for the meaning of life. Messages from Jungsan Kim Yun-Siks work are the questions and answers of the fundamental essence.


Jung san Kim, Yun-sik

Understanding beyond words















Jung san Kim, Yun-sik


2016 | The other Side the Novel(kyobo art space, Seoul) | CONTEXT new york fair (Manhattan, USA) | ART HAMPTONS (Hamptons, USA) | SCOP Art fair (Miami Beach, USA) | The 11th Solo Exhibition <Bul-Lip-Mun-Ja, an Interpretation of Fundamental Communication> at Sandra Lee Gallery, San Francisco, USA | 2015 | The 10th Solo Exhibition <Bul-Lip-Mun-Ja, an Interpretation of Fundamental Communication> at Sandra Lee Gallery, San Francisco, USA | 2014 | The 9th Solo Exhibition <Bul-Lip-Mun-Ja, an Interpretation of Fundamental Communication> at Sandra Lee Gallery, San Francisco, USA | Silicon Valley Contemporary Art Fair (San Francisco) | 2013 | Art Figuratif (Seoul Art Center, Seoul) | 7th TEAF13(Taehwa-river Eco Art Festival) at Taehwa riverside Ulsan, Korea | The 8th Solo Exhibition <Gustav Mahlers Picture of the Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land> at Sandra Lee Gallery, San Francisco, USA | 2012 | The 7th Solo Exhibition <Gustav Mahlers Picture of the Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land> at Seoul Art Center | The 6h Solo Exhibition <Contemplation+Meditation> at Seoul Art Center | 6th TEAF12(Taehwa-river Eco Art Festival) at Taehwa riverside Ulsan, Korea | <K-Art Star, Art Festival> at INSA Art Center, Seoul | Group Exhibition <Debussy Clair de lune> at Sandra Lee Gallery, San Francisco, USA | 2011 | The 5th Solo Exhibition <Debussy Clair de lune> at INSA Art Center | The 4th Solo Exhibition <Contemplation+Meditation> at Seoul Art Center | No.58 Salon de Charenton Honored Artist Invitation Exhibition | 2010 | Third solo exhibition < Contemplation + Meditation> at Gallery Dam | 2009 | Book North Korean Temple Cuisine published by Dahal Media | Second solo exhibition < Contemplation + Meditation> at INSA Art Center | 2008 | 11. 12~18 Joint exhibition <Understanding on Human, Understanding on Art> | 2007 | Named to the steering committee of KCRP Writes a column on Korean temple food in Contemporary Buddhism newspaper | Dean of Temple Food Culture Department of Dongsan Buddhist University | First solo exhibition <Contemplation + Meditation> at Gallery Gong | 2002 | Book Temple Food You Eat with Your Eyes published by Uri Publishing |1997 | Book Korean Temple Cuisine published by Uri Publishing | 1995 | Presented paper on commercialization of Korean temple cuisine at seminar at Graduate School of Industrial Management of Chung-Ang University | 1990 | Put together temple food in 21st Century Woman? Encyclopedia LaBelle published by the JoongAng Ilbo | 1987 | Book Mountain Vegetable Cooking published by JubuSaenghwal | 1986 | Introduced Mountain Kimchi and Mountain Vegetable Cooking, in a special color feature in the June issue of JubuSaenghwal magazine | 1984 | Published a column on temple food in Bulgwang magazine for a year | 1981 | Received an award in the Traditional Food Discovery Content awards, held by the JoongAng Ilbo and TBC | 1980 | Published a column on temple food in Sindong-A magazine | Starts Saanchon a Korean temple cuisine restaurant in Insa-dong | 1972 | Published a column on temple food in the Busan Ilbo newspaper for a year | 1971 | Gave open lecture on temple cuisine at the Gukje Sinmun newspaper | 1961 | Entered Beomeo-sa Temple in Busan



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