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FALL 2014 Competition:


art that reveals hidden stories and the duality of all things

1st Place Winner

Medium:  acrylic on burnt burlap rolls on canvas

Size:  42 x 42 in
Price: $3500 usd

artist statement

Having grown up in the aftermath of the Korean War, I experienced both the chaotic growth of democracy and industrialization and lived with the heartache of seeing my homeland torn in half. For a long time, I sought a means to respond to the turmoil that engulfed Korea and a way to ease the suffering that it has caused me. My art has allowed me to address and channel my anger and sorrow toward the arduous process of healing. When I paint, my inner pain starts to dissolve and I imagine Koreans from the South and Koreans from the North putting aside the hatred of the past and recognizing their shared heritage.
The term “North Korea” has always inspired great sadness in me. I often think about my native land, which had been whole for much of its history, and then formally split in two after the Korean War. For the past sixty years, North Korea has been an isolated entity. It is the place where my father used to live before he fled south for freedom, and it is a land where some of my relatives still reside. There is immeasurable suffering on the part of those forced to live under a brutal dictatorship; and the conditions of life are not much better for the roughly 300,000 North Korean refugees in China, who are often treated like criminals. Literally and figuratively, I shed tears for all of them as I create my art.
The dripping method of painting that I employ represents the act of weeping and receiving of solace; burning designs on canvas and scorching patterns in other materials in a ritualistic and respectful manner speak to the healing of wounded spirits and the eradication of the roots of that grief. I feel a great connection to water as it relates to the tears that flow, but also the possibility of separate streams rejoining. Put another way, the sorrow-filled rivers of North Korea may once more follow their unfettered path to the South. Through abstract visual language, I wish to express the sight of sounds flowing through my soul, and filling my heart with hope for a united Korea.

With this piece I stripped down my collection of techniques and then re-assembled them together in one piece, clashing and bouncing but still standing as a whole.  This work was a personal subversion as well as a challenge, culminating in a piece that sits outside of the expected.

artist bio

Solo Exhibition
2013  "Trampled Ember,"  Soho20 Chelsea Gallery, New York, New York 
2012  “NK Elegy,” Gallery All, Seoul, Korea
2012  “NK Elegy,” Sanjunghyun Church, Seoul, Korea
2012  “NK Elegy,” Korean Embassy, Washington D.C.
2010  “New Korea: Almost There,” Korea Monitor Gallery, Annandale, Virginia

2014  Three-Person Show, Gallery B, Bethesda, Maryland
2014  Four-Person Show, Korean Embassy, Washington, D.C.
2013  Three-Person Show, Gallery B, Bethesda, Maryland
2011  Two-Person Show, “BabBaDa: Rice Ocean,”  Space Womb, Long Island City, New York

Selected Group Exhibitions
2014  Arte Laguna Prize 13.14 Finalists Exhibition, Sculpture Field, Venice, Italy
2014  “Guerrilla National Juried Show", Cade Art Gallery, Ann Arundel College, Annapolis, Maryland
2014  Call for Artist competition,  Gallery Korea, Korean Culture Service of New York, New York
2013  "Relational Ground: Defying the Status Quo," Soho20 Gallery, New York, New York 
2013  "The Korean Wave 2013,"  Korus House, Washington D.C.
2013  “VIva 2013,” HAMM annual group show, Korean Embassy, Washington, D.C
2012  Salon Show, “Fill the Space,” Space Womb, Long Island City, New York
2012  “Blurring Boundaries,” Lorton, Virginia
2011  “MiniSolo Show,” Touchstone Gallery, Washington, D.C.
2008  Girls Gotta Run Project: Empowered by Artistry, Sewall-Belmont Museum, Washisngton, D.C
Artist Talk
2013  Soho20 Chelsea Gallery, New York, New York
2011   North Korea Servant School, AIIM/YWAM, Seattle, Washington

YWAM/Antioch Institute for International Ministry, Seattle, Washington
The Great Vision School, Kyongi-Do, Korea
Justice for N. Korea

Team DNA

WashingtonPost, Newsis, UkoreaNews, KoreaTimes, KoreaDailyNews, ArtInfo, RFA

2009  B.F.A. Corcoran College of Art & Design, Washington, D.C.  
Member of Soho20 Chelsea Gallery, New York, New York
Member of HanMee Artists Association in Washington D.C.







gongsan kim
Potomac, Maryland [USA]

art scene today Q & A

Q: Where do you see yourself in the art scene today?
Q: What is in your inspiration?
Q: What are your challenges?
Q: How did you/do you choose your medium?
Q: Which artist has influenced you the most?

 other work by the artist




Fire Beneath the Ice-View Exhibition