Kim Sang Gyun Korea, b. 1967


Kim Sang Gyun focuses on architectures which were built in the colonial style during Japanese occupation and now stand as historic sites that evoke of the past in the heart of an ultra-modern city. He presents the works that compellingly integrate the spirit of the times, the hegemony of power, and detailed form of expression in the buildings with his own artistic methodology In his works, Kim appropriated façades of colonial buildings and created concrete panels reduced in size to a precise scale, which were then divided into countless pieces and put back together again, creating flat and sculptural works combining high relief and low relief. Such works attempted to deconstruct the temporary past identity given to the buildings that were forcefully constructed by the other, and to deny the authority endowed upon them. Along with such external feature, the use of concrete as the main material of the work is evocative of Brutalism, an architectural style that emerged in Britain in the modern era. Kim's work reflects such architectural style in its non-formality, coarse formation, rejection of balance and aestheticism, and deliberate exposure of the inner material. Considering the fact that Brutalism began in opposition to modernism architecture that ruled the times of imperialism, it’s interesting to note that the artist explores the building that were born through the modernism style which was the architectural basis of imperialism, not only as an external source of chaos (through unnatural arrangement of concrete pieces), but as a way of discussing the form of trend and normative characteristics that came about in order to overcome it.