Kim Kulim

Born 1936 | Sangju
Lives and works Seoul

A key figure in the South Korean post-war avant-garde, Kim Kulim developed an eclectic practice that encompasses painting, works on paper, photography, sculpture, performance, and installation for over five decades. For the 14th Gwangju Biennale, Kim reenacts Body Painting 1969, a participatory performance in which the artist painted decorative shapes and attached beads and laces onto the bodies of female models. By transforming painting into a collaborative act between the artist and the performer, the artist challenged traditional notions of the medium that privileges solitary endeavours of an artist on fixed material supports. The performance, which was once considered inappropriate due to conservative gender dynamics at the time, indicates Kim’s relentless attempts to break free from social norms and conventions.

Kim Kulim, Body Painting 1969. Performance. Courtesy the artist. Image courtesy the artist