• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2605

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 469


    Price Realised  


    (KIM DUK YOUNG, Born in 1961)
    Time Together
    mixed media on wood
    193.5 x 100 cm. (76 x 39 1/4 in.)
    Executed in 2007

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    Kim's works are contemporary art that depict traditional Korean culture in a unique medium and style. The artist strives to express personal nostalgia through traditional vocabulary. He was inspired by the Dan-Chung (traditional Korean red and blue colors) of old wooden structures and wanted to express these colors in his work. Kim experimented with different painting techniques and media to express the atmosphere of faded Dan-Chung on wooden backings. He uses layers of the traditional medium Sukche and Bunche, which are natural minerals, and then applies sand between the layers of the wood, sometimes using eggshells to imitate the surface of ceramics.

    Kim uses wood pieces from drawers, closets and tables that were handed down from previous generations to represent the past. By preserving the original traces of the wood, he creates a connection between the past and the present. He paints images on the wood, not to cover its grain but to bring it to life. The images in his works vary from portraits to still-life, and the poetic and meditative quality is enhanced by these images and the grain of the wood.

    In Time Together (Lot 469), his portrayal of thirteen young girls is the beautiful synthesis of all these elements. Dressed in similar pastel colored dresses, the girls are sitting in two rows, as if waiting to have their picture taken. The warm and harmonious atmosphere is created by their intimate closeness, expressions and posture. Comfortably kneeling on the floor, they look at, lean against and listen to each other, smile shyly, or simply daydream while waiting. Kim's skillful manipulation of the grainy wood draws out and enhances the gentle contours of the girls, whose delicate softness is emphasized by their skin and dress color on the on hand, and the black background on the other hand. Kim's careful observation of the girls becomes apparent, as he is eager to maintain their individuality within the group, painting each girl with her own unique particularities.