She employs various tools and techniques to express her innermost images through butterflies and experiments to overcome limits
Rebirth 058, 162x108, LED and pigment print on fine art paper, 2012
Kim Hyun-jung’s works depict butterflies as a symbol of people’s dreams of freedom. She said, “The butterflies on my works of art flying among flowers freely is like hovering between nature and artificiality, between consciousness and unconsciousness, between reality and ideal, and between absolute value and relative value.”
Rebirth 028, 143x114, mixed media on canvas, 2012
Artist Kim said, “Butterflies are beautiful, but few know that the beauty results from the pupa’s overcoming hardships like our modern life in fields of concrete.”
“I imagine our dreaming of retreating from the routine of daily life and flying freely like butterflies,” she said. “We cannot escape from reality, but the true transcendence is that I can see the innovation of butterflies °™ they are not restricted by anything in the real world, and they can obtain the freedom for flying farther by aggressively engaging in the real world with a passion, molting again and again and emptying themselves.”
For the artist, butterflies become a symbol for life and reincarnation. “Art’s ultimate resistance to human being’s mortality is to overcome their shackle of limitation and expand into eternity, so butterflies are at the center of incarnation or the surmounting of death,” she said.
“In a bid to express my innermost images through butterflies, I have tried to employ various tools and techniques, experimenting to overcome the limited boundaries between traditional and modern things, between human and mechanical, between invariable and variable, and between Oriental and Western things.
Rebirth 018, 110x140, mixed media on fine art paper, printed by pigment printer, 2010
“I’ve also tried out the use of the three main colors of LED on top of the traditional painting techniques, searching the best way to express my intentions by introducing the techniques of photography, collage, and moving image. These introductions of various ways of expression hark back to the pupa’s shedding of its cocoon and reinventing itself,” Kim said. She added that the employment of LED light, human beings’ greatest light of the 21st century, is her bid to touch on nature and life through the non-living artificial material and inject life into it.
Kim said, “I’m going to embark on a new journey, hoping my new and creative work will allow me to empty myself as butterflies can fly thousands of kilometers by emptying themselves.”
Painter Kim Hyun-jung, standing before one of her work, looks like a flying butterfly.
“It means the same as a saying in the Analects of Confucius that reads ‘we should paint white on the canvas before painting,’” she said.
A graduate of Sangmyung University majoring in Korean painting and a master’s degree in its graduate school, artist Kim held a solo exhibition at eight occasions. They include the Seoul Art Salon at aT Center in Seoul,; her winning of the Asia Art Grand Prize at AATS 2009’ Art Fair in Beijing,; Hampyeong County Invitational Exhibition,; Golden Eye Art Fair at the Coex in Seoul,: Dream of Butterfly at Moro Gallery in Seoul,; 3rd Asia International Arts & Antique Fair at Asia Word Expo in Hong Kong,; and New York Art Expo at Jacob. K. Javits Center in New York.
She also held invitational and group exhibitions on about 50 occasions, including the 2008 Busan International Fair Invitational Exhibition in BEXCO in Busan,; Korea-China-Japan Excellent Artists Invitational in Pyeongtaek Art Center,; and Korea Youth Painters’ Invitational at Sejong Center in Seoul.
Kim teaches art at Beakseok University. She also gave lectures at Wonkwang University.
[ Photots on courtesy of artist Kim Hyun-jung]