Jung-joo Kim

“The most important influence on my art is the experience of space, especially the outdoor and indoor shapes of buildings. I grew up in small apartments and schools made of reinforced concrete like most city kids. I feel complex emotions when I am faced with massive towering buildings and highways (e.g. the bridge crossing the Han River). Impressed whilst also relaying a nervous and dispirited feeling. The rigid shapes give me both a sense of security and a feeling of oppressed restriction. I am interested in their power of influence on people and seek to define these contrasting emotions caused by them.


I have decided to use staples to build my city because of their similarity to steel – reinforced concrete – and give my city a modern look. Tall buildings, towering cranes and highways create an impression of a city of huge dimensions. More precisely my work can be described as ´mise en scene´. In order to express the city as enormous and real, I collect images through photography and video of the parts that I want to emphasize on. In the photos my intention is to make various ideas of the city visible by catching small and whole parts of the real staple constructions. By using videos, I want to say something about time. A camera is fixed in a spot in the city and shows both day- and night-time scenes.”


In my drawing series Cell, space is largely sectioned into triangles, rectangles, and circles, from a perspective involving various angles. Unlike my previous series The City and The Magic Land, involving spatial frames from metal staples, Cell signifies mass concealed within such frames.

I draw extracted elements from diverse angles, linking them with thin black lines, creating a mass. With these I analogize something revealed, inside and outside. The cell refers to the smallest structural unit of an organism, or a small room, or a narrow confining room. Each cell is functional, but remains organically entwined. Cell depicts minute and accurate details, without meaning something concrete. It is itself a complete work, not a drawing.

Jung-joo Kim´s residency is organized within an ongoing residency exchange programme between HIAP and IASK – National Art Studio, South Korea, supported by FRAME Finnish Fund for Art Exchange