• Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sa auction at Christies

    Sale 2726

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    30 November 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1507


    Price Realised  


    (B. 1965)
    Grace Kelly vs Frank Sinatra
    signed 'K D Y' in English; dated '2009' (side of canvas)
    oil on canvas
    227 x 182 cm. (89 3/8 x 71 5/8 in.)
    Painted in 2009

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    The conventionally pose Grace Kelly emerges from the canvas with a nostalgic sensation of a black and white photograph under a depiction that provoke a tremendous experimentation, perhaps even critical of the digital advancement, in deliberate intention to communicate Kim Dong Yoo's theme that has been his favorite, an allegorical satire of contemporary life employed by connecting past and present cultural references. The playful dabble of diminutive stamps of an icon is coalesced to assert a dimensional illusion of a enlarged portraiture; hence in Kim's intention for a more oblique engagement with pop culture is presented with a concluding visual representation of an icon, figuratively interconnected with its preliminary icon of Frank Sinatra as an authoritative brush stroke, implicating its symbolic foundation for building the dominant image, or moreover highlighting their relationships by noting Sinatra as one of the most influential being in Grace Kelly's life.

    The structure is deliberately articulated in modulation to instigate activity in every form that his two-dimensional canvas can provide. The stagnant impression of the painting is attributable to the smooth grey-scale surface, neatly aligned, bearing the image of the passively and elegantly poised Grace Kelly; our familiar image of her in our recollection of a blurry romanticism of 1950s black and white photograph is channeled in varying palettes and texture to oscillate similar haze in the painterly contours of his minute stamps to subtly tease the susceptibility of our memory, by challenging our stereotyped understanding to attain new definition by granting multiple perspectives that allow us to flexibly look for the object, look among the objects or look at an object; in chorus, managing to enlightening us that object multiplies and changes under our very eyes.

    Kim's continuous struggle to overturn convention is sought through his monochrome palette, that seemingly projects a sense of stillness, but with scrutiny, the insertion of purple, red and black grant a sense of life and movement to the various fields of Frank Sinatra. The pixels of Frank Sinatra sing along its compositional placement, manipulating unexpected areas of shadow and light to function into motion of a push and pull. Between its exercise as flatness and perspective, deceptive and abstract, Kim assumes a technique that opposes a resemblance to conventional, traditional technique of an accurate depiction of the physical appearances to portray the principle function of art in elevating his social consciousness between reality and imagination.


    Lee Hwaik Gallery, Kim Dong Yoo, exh. cat., Seoul, Korea, 2009 (illustrated, plate 2, p. 5).


    Seoul, Korea, Lee Hwaik Gallery, Kim Dong Yoo, 21 May-10 June, 2009.