Issue 98

Kim Joon

The cover image for this edition of Artkrush is detail of Bird Land-Armani, a digital Lambda print by Kim Joon. The artist currently lives and works in Seoul, South Korea, where he was born in 1966. From December 3 through 7, Kim shows with LA's Sabina Lee Gallery at Art Asia in Miami.

In digital post-production, Kim turns the human body into a fleshy canvas — tattooing naked, writhing figures with everything from slogans to serpents. Early experiments produced niddles: graphed with music staffs, company logos, and bleeding hearts, these fleshy, three-dimensional forms hung on the wall like dismembered body parts, or cushions upholstered in skin. 2005's we series found Kim photographing nude trios in classical poses. Each threesome embraces, digitally tattooed around a central theme — Adidas, Jesus, Gucci, or the US Marine Corps. A 2006 duet series places headless torsos in explicit poses, gilded in bright neon, and his most recent series, bird land — which includes this issue's cover image — staggers bodies like tessellations, until one becomes indistinguishable from the group. In each series, Kim takes an exhausted genre, the nude photograph, and restores it with great vitality.

Kim earned his MA in painting at Hongik University and has exhibited widely throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, with solo shows at Keumsan Gallery in Seoul and Galerie Bertin in Paris and Miami. -Lauren McKee

Kim Joon
Bird Land-Armani, 2008
Lambda print
39 1/2 x 69 in./100 x 175 cm
Courtesy Keumsan Gallery, Seoul
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