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Feb 172014
Sung Kyo Kim

Sung Kyo Kim in his studio at his home in Carindale

Carindale artist Sung Kyo Kim is breathing new life into Chinese characters.

Korean-born Sung came to Australia in 1988 and has a background in the mining industry. For 25 years he worked as a draftsman and structural designer, mostly for mining design companies in Queensland.

Sung kindly welcomed us into his home for a chat and to see some of the works that are going into his first solo art exhibition.

Recently completing a BA in Fine Art from Curtin University, he began working full-time on his art practice last year.

His rich and textured paintings combine beautiful Chinese calligraphy with fun pop-art imagery – creatively bridging Asian and Western cultures.

“Nowadays, the Chinese language is very important as well as English and I hope that Australian viewers — including Chinese, Japanese and Koreans — will be inspired by my paintings, particularly the next generation. I want my art to be for Asian and Western people alike,” Sung says.

'Prosperous business' (Mining).  Acrylic on Linen, 102x102cm (2013)

‘Prosperous business’ (Mining).
Acrylic on Linen, 102x102cm (2013)

Some of his works are inspired by his time in the mining industry and design and drafting.

In one painting he incorporates the ‘good luck’ symbol and says this expresses the wish for good luck to the person who hangs it on their wall.

“I always feel happy with flowers, butterflies and fishes, especially when I look at my paintings in the early morning. Most East Asian people get the same feeling and I want to share this,” Sung says.

Calligraphy is part of Sung’s heritage and he learned it an early age and continued to practice it in adulthood.  Twenty years ago he learned hyukpilhwa from a Korean master-artist.

Hyukpil is a genre of Korean folk painting dating back to the Eastern Han dynasty (25–220AD). It transforms parts of the character to incorporate symbols which correspond to the character’s meaning. For example, a crane symbolises longevity and a butterfly symbolises joy.

Sung says he enjoys spending his days creating art and looks forward to sharing it with more people.

Exhibition Details | Sung Kyo Kim
East Meets West: Chinese characters meet pop art

Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane.
Opening drinks Friday 21st February, 6-8pm.
Exhibition runs Thursday 20th February to Sunday 2nd March 2014.
Open 10am-6pm daily.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gen is the Founder of Carindale Connect (started in 2007). She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Queensland University of Technology and an internship from ABC Online. She's involved in a number of web projects, was the Website Manager for Chamber of Commerce and Industry QLD and the Editor of Wotnews (Australian news aggregator and search engine start-up). She also spent some time as a volunteer Community Correspondent for 612 ABC Brisbane. Born in Hobart, Tasmania, Gen now lives in Carindale. She loves her bicycle (but doesn't do lycra), the environment and art.
Genevieve Robey

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