Kim Yong-Ik was born in 1947 in Seoul, where he continues to live and work.
Influenced by Dansaekhwa, the Korean monochrome painting, and the Japanese Mono-ha movement, Kim Yong-Ik established his career in the late 1970s with his Plane Object paintings, a series of airbrush paintings on unstretched canvases that relate to these traditions. In the 1980s, having completed a thesis on Marcel Duchamp, Kim moved from the ‘Plane Object’ series to more abstract and geometric languages. During the 1980s and 1990s, he developed increasingly experimental work by using scraps and thus including forces greater than his own imprint, such as stains, hair or dust. By the early 1990s, Kim develops his “polka dot” series consisting of paintings depicting simple and serialized arrangements of circles.
In 1999, Kim helped establish one of Korea’s leading exhibition spaces known as “art space pool.” He participated in the Gwangju Biennale in 2002; in “SeMA Gold 2012: Hidden Track,” an exhibition at the Seoul Museum to shed light on stellar artworks by mid-career artists of Korea; and the 5th Yokohama Triennial in 2014. In 2016 Kim was the subject of an extensive retrospective at Ilmin Museum of Art in Seoul. His first exhibitions in Europe were at Spike Island, Bristol, and a partner exhibition at the Korean Cultural Centre UK, in 2017. Kim Yong-Ik’s works are part of the permanent collections of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul Art Museum, Leeum, Samsung Art Museum and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, among others.
Portrait : photography by Keith Park, courtesy of Kukje Gallery