Sooun Kim is a multidisciplinary visual artist working through music, painting and sculpture and more recently expanding his visual language to include moving image and installation. As a Korean artist, Kim examines the influence of cultural imperialism and post-colonialism on the continuing hybridization of Korea, through both historical events and his own personal cultural identity, navigating contemporary Korean cultural uncertainty. His approach draws to present experiences from archives and records of the Japanese colonial era and the Korean War to posit a potential future informed by the same anxieties that have been present in the Korean cultural consciousness since the fall of the Joseon dynasty in 1910. Kim’s work focuses on the dual parts hope and uncertainty engendered by the hybridization and regrowth of lost cultural roots, and the positive change nascent in a new cultural identity in the cycle of globalization-localization-deglobalization.
His work, Yellow Fever (2019), marked the beginning of his auto-ethnographic journey, during which he collected his grandfather’s biography alongside records of historical figures to recover his personal cultural identity. Further interested in popular culture, he includes audio-visual reflections of his contemporary being as a South-Korean migrant where the past and present collide. Consciously unpredictable, Kim uses image and sound to play with viewer expectations by seducing and repulsing – genre bending to create an undefinable hybrid.
Sooun Kim is an artist living and working in Glasgow, he graduated from MA Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art in 2020. His work has been shown in various screenings, two-person and group shows notably at : ArtReview, NOWNESS ASIA, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin 2022, CCA Glasgow, the Korean Embassy Cultural Centre in Berlin & London, Piccadilly Lights, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, the Ingram Prize 2020.
Works available online:
Yellow Fever, 2019, 00:13:24
Unmuted Cave, 2021, 00:03:49
Image: Still from Unmuted Cave, originally exhibited at CCA’s Intermedia Gallery