Kim Tschang-Yeul

Kim Tschang-Yeul is a Korean painter. He was born in Maing-San, actual North Korea in 1929. The artist is best known for his ‘water drop painting’. Kim Tschang-Yeul belonged to the first generation that studied in art colleges that were established after the Korean War. From 1948 to 1950 he attended the College of Fine Arts of Seoul. He also belonged to the group of artists who created a new movement of Korean Informel that took place during the highly sensitive post-war atmosphere to advocate their rebellion against authority and institutional conservatism. This movement would pave the way for the avant-garde art of the next generations. The devastating political turmoil of the Korean War bred immense cultural spirituality, which they soon quickly transmitted onto paper in creative liberation. In the 1950’s and 60’s, Kim led the Korean Informel movement with Chang-Sup Chung and Seo-Bo Park. Kim moved to Paris in 1969 where he started a new chapter of his artistic career. After he settled in Paris, the artist started to develop the opaque liquid in his ‘Recurrence’ series in the early 70’s. Gradually, Kim transformed the liquid into transparent, spherical shape and finally it culminated in his ‘water drops’ after mid 70’s. His ‘water drop paintings’ went through a ‘searching period’ when the artist was searching for his formative language in the 70’s and early 80’s. Since the early 1970s, Kim religiously yet rigorously, experimented in depicting water drops, striving to perfect its painterly depiction and to comprehend its wisdom. The artist used to play with the living surface of his hyperrealist water drops, the light reflecting on it and the shadows born from it; creating some sort of “trompe-l’oeil” paintings. Neutral yet constantly in flux, his paintings are interweaved with layers of binary code that create harmony balances an intellectual magnificence. After mid 80’s, his work focuses on finding formative harmony between the thousand Chinese character text and water drops. After the 90’s, Tschang-Yeul Kim’s painting continues to forge ahead into a new period, in which various installations, stained space and negative characters were created after writing the characters with latex and removing them. His works have been shown all around the world in museums and galleries, notably at the Korean National Museum of Contemporary Art, South Korea; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Fondation Veranneman, Belgium; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Bochum Museum Art Collection, Germany; National Museum of China, Beijing and Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris. He currently spends his time between Paris and Seoul.