Face : Dual Image
English / Korean
His paintings feature a wide variety of subjects: figures of authority and power from the Cold War era including Park Chung-hee, Kim Il-sung, John F. Kennedy, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping; famous film stars, who represent American pop culture and consumerism like Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Clark Gable, and Henry Fonda; as well as members of the British royal family, Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II. Kim's portraits of John F. Kenney, Park Chung-hee, Mao Zedong and Kim Il-sung are composed of hundreds and thousands of small images of Marilyn Monroe that form one big image. The actress-politician combination is a political allusion to the cessation of the Cold War. The portraits of these influential political leaders created by numerous tiny images of Monroe, an icon of popular culture, also suggest that the wall between politics and entertainment has been dismantled. In other paintings, where the figures portrayed as the larger, central subject and the smaller, local subjects are reversed—e.g. the portrait of Monroe using the small images of Kennedy—the reversion is not just coincidental, but implies curious and fatal stories of desire between the two figures.

Soukyoun Lee
Director of Curatorial Bureau
Seoul Museum of Art