ARTIFICIAL LANDSCAPE 
Artist Kim Jong-sook's exhibition was held at the Shinhan Gallery Yeoksam under the title of "Artificial Landscape." Kim transforms Korea's traditional calm, serene paintings into a world of fantasy and imagination by affixing thousands of Swarovski crystals. As a result, her crystal landscape and flower-and-bird paintings are ever so extravagant as opposed to the original works. Kim also depicts the size of the brushes used to create the original pieces as well as their light and shade effects with the size of jewels. Not only that, her pieces display detailed expressions of high mountains, vertiginous cliffs and deep valleys, providing the audience with the feeling of moving and possessing nature. The average time required to create a single piece is about three to four months. Though the process was tough, Kim successfully created a new artistic genre called 'crystal painting' with her experimental spirit and persistent effort, and that offers a new pathway of art to people.

 

Between Enticement and Enlightenment: Shimmering Utopia in Artificial Landscape 


Thousands of crystals are shimmering on the peaks and valleys in traditional landscape painting sansu-hwa (山水畵; painting of mountain and river) of eighteenth-century Chosŏn Dynasty to create a spectacle of luminosity. Artificial Landscape, a series of paintings Jongsook Kim has explored since 2005, is a panorama of illuminated landscape. The surface encrusted with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS first strikes the viewer as dazzling spectacle, but as it unfolds in time, it is more a iridescent screen than a reified surface - a reflective screen on which projected pictures are animated due to successive overlaps of still images in a fraction of a second. Ruptured yet continuous, lapsed yet generative, Artificial Landscape operates as a alluring screen which awakens the enchanted.

Jongsook Kim _ Main

In Jongsook Kim's Studio, Seoul, Korea

Jongsook Kim, born in South Korea, received her BFA, MFA and PhD from Hongik University in South Korea. Her works have been widely exhibited both nationally and worldwide, and a part of them is housed in the permanent collections at the Mogam Museum of Art and The Hoseo National Museum of Contemporary Art.

The artist reinterprets traditional Korean ink-brush landscape paintings, giving it a modern vocabulary by incorporating Swarovski crystals into it. Her father, who ran a mother-of-pearl workshop, used traditional landscapes and motifs as prototypes for the objects he made. This early memory influenced her to create artworks of her own, onto which she incorporated the iridescence of Swarovski crystals, combining it with Korean tradition.