Kiseok Kim was born and raised in Korea. He received his B.F.A. in painting from Dong-A University in Busan, Korea in 1999 and M.F.A. in Painting from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 2008. He moved to New York City in 2006, currently lives and works in New York. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions in and around New York City. His recent work is the portrait related to contemporary people in the media and he entitled this series “Plastic” connected with the idea of plasticity. The plastic series is featured in public and private collections throughout the United States and Korea.
My work is the portrait related to contemporary people but there is no specific model. I choose something from unspecified persons and shape it according to my taste, so why I entitled my recent work "Plastic" connected with the idea of plasticity. The word “Plastic” is a very attractive word to me. It can be everything and is widely used in contemporary culture. With this idea, I also take a close look at everyday objects, especially patterns and colors in the media, and then I reflect them on canvas with my language.
The portrait does not render a specific person; the person in my work is an idealized being. I try to get rid of expression on the face so it looks almost frozen or static. In addition, its background is simple and no spatiality is suggested. Extremely planar surfaces and simple colors or patterns without spatiality are ways I try to make tension by the contrast between objects and background. This idea is connected to the composition of my work. I enlarge portraits to a great extent, with the result that I am cutting out the top part of the forehead and the bottom part of the neck. Therefore, these portraits are unusual and unstable in their arrangements. It finally aims to maximize the tension of the composition.
My art starts from the search for some sort of human condition in contemporary culture. The images on the canvas reflect my imagination as well as styles in popular culture and the media. They are expressed as symbols, colors, or realistic descriptions. However, there is no negative or positive view. My recent work is cultural expression about my surroundings as a landscape painter looks at landscape carefully and paints on canvas, but not to judge them. At the same time, however, it is to find something unique to say. The figures in my work are used as objects to illustrate my own relationship to the world or feelings I have.