Sung Kim

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Sung Kim

United States

Born in South Korea in 1985, Sung eun Kim has been studying and creating art since he was very young. After he graduated from Daejeon Art High School in South Korea, he came to United State to pursue his study of painting, and finished his BFA at the California College of the Arts in 2010. After graduation, he worked as a freelance illustrator of children’s books for two years. Then, because of his enthusiasm and passion for painting, he began his MFA program at the Academy of Art University in 2012 and has continued developing his artistic style.

Most of his paintings are based on photographs he took and are chosen according to his own tastes. His paintings attempt to create a sense of atmosphere and light not necessarily present in the source of the photograph, but are interpreted through his memories and life experience as he studies the photo while he is painting. He does this through the decisions he makes when he translates photo images into the painting: color choices, reconstructing of shapes, points of rendering.

Regarding the degree of realism found in his work, it ranges between realistic depiction and unrecognizable abstraction. In order to express his search for that particular degree of depiction that represents his in-the-moment impression, he sometimes describes as much information in the photo as possible, like photo-realism. At other times, in rendering the constructions in the photo, he does not necessarily follow the exact form of the figures, but paints with more flexibility. He tries to capture a sense of flowing atmosphere on figures represented in his paintings. The same applies to expressions of color. To bring out and emphasize the light in the painting as he sensed the light when he took the photos, the selection of pigments is sometimes simple, as can be seen in the original photo and other times divided and switched to colors of his own expression. In other words, his paintings are about how he can interpret the images in a way that represents his own personal, artistic, and visual interests.     


* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 16th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.