Painter Kim seeks aesthetics of space
Kim Hyung-seok's works combines science and art. Junk appliances become robots in Kim’s hands.
He refers to himself as a "world space artist." "I think I was destined to study aesthetics by birth," the 70-year-old Kim said. He is known as an eccentric in the Korean art scene.
He dreamt of studying overseas and applied for the National Art Exhibition numerous times. He was accepted in the competition several times, but did not win big prizes.
His breakthrough came when he was teaching at a high school after serving his military service. "I realized that my art and aesthetics should be used to save humankind and the earth, not to win some mere competitions," he said.
Kim came up with the concept in the 1960s, when modern science was introduced to Korea and drew the interest of the public. His earliest works include a study on four dimensions of art ― space, object, time and motion.
He said he trail blazed this unexplored field when spacecrafts started to explore the moon. “I knew science was going to lead the future of humanity and originated the theory of space aesthetics,” he said. “I was one of the first people to incorporate science into art. People were ignorant of science then and did not understand my art.”
Kim said he brought science into art and made robots from junk and laser beams because he wanted to make science a way of everyday life.
He claimed that his works are beyond the common belief. "My works are state-of-the-art and break the restrictions. Anything could be material for my work from desk and chair to the parts of a car or an airplane," he said. He added that he also produced more than 1,000 abstract paintings.
Kim had many exhibitions overseas, including France, the United Kingdom and Australia, and claimed that he broke the mould of the existing art world. "I think artworks have to be powerful.” He moved to Australia and taught space aesthetics at University of Sydney in the early '90s.
He criticized other artists who are money grubbers. "Art and aesthetics are above capitalism. Artists have to contribute to make the world better," the eccentric artist said.
"I will delve into space aesthetics until I die. I will dedicate my life to improve humankind," Kim said.