Skip to content
Installation view of Kim Tschang-Yeul: New York to Paris at Tina Kim Gallery, 2019, New York

Installation View of New York to Paris by Kim Tschang-Yeul. Image by Jeremy Haik.

Installation view of Kim Tschang-Yeul: New York to Paris at Tina Kim Gallery, 2019, New York

Installation View of New York to Paris by Kim Tschang-Yeul. Image by Jeremy Haik.

Installation view of Kim Tschang-Yeul: New York to Paris at Tina Kim Gallery, 2019, New York

Installation View of New York to Paris by Kim Tschang-Yeul. Image by Jeremy Haik.

Installation view of Kim Tschang-Yeul: New York to Paris at Tina Kim Gallery, 2019, New York

Installation View of New York to Paris by Kim Tschang-Yeul. Image by Jeremy Haik.

Installation view of Kim Tschang-Yeul: New York to Paris at Tina Kim Gallery, 2019, New York

Installation View of New York to Paris by Kim Tschang-Yeul. Image by Jeremy Haik.

Installation view of Kim Tschang-Yeul: New York to Paris at Tina Kim Gallery, 2019, New York

Installation View of New York to Paris by Kim Tschang-Yeul. Image by Jeremy Haik.

Press Release

Tina Kim Gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition of Kim Tschang-Yeul (b. 1929), on view from October 24 through December 7, 2019. The exhibition focuses on Kim’s early bodies of work from the late 1960s to early 1980s, surveying the evolution of the artist’s signature painting style when he lived between New York and Paris.

Born in 1929 in Maengsan in North Korea, Kim Tschang-Yeul spent his childhood amid the turmoil of the Korean War and postcolonial liberation. He later fled to South Korea as the North saw a dramatic rise in Communist influence. After studying painting at the Seoul National University, Kim established the Modern Artists’ Association—later renamed as Actuel—in 1958. He joined Korea’s Art Informel movement that same year along with a group of avant-garde artists including renowned Dansaekhwa masters Park Seo-Bo and Chung Sang-Hwa. As one of the first generations of Korean modernist painters, Kim participated in the Paris Biennale in 1961 and the São Paulo Biennale in 1965. These exhibitions opened the door for the artist to embark on his artistic career abroad that would span more than 40 years.

When Kim Tschang-Yeul moved to New York in 1965, Pop Art prevailed as the artistic lifeblood of the city. Following a recommendation by his teacher, Kim Whanki, Kim received a scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation to study at the Art Students League of New York. During this time, Kim became acquainted with the artist Nam June Paik who later supported Kim’s participation in the Avant-Garde Festival in 1969. It was in New York that Kim began his earliest experiments into painting the bulbous abstract forms that would later lead to his signature style. It was during this time that the artist began experimenting with visceral abstraction, depicting colorful spherical forms which the artist aptly called “paintings of the intestines.”

In 1969, Kim relocated to Paris and began his artistic career anew traveling between France and South Korea, creating a bridge between Europe and his native land. Hosting Dansaekhwa masters such as Lee Ufan, Park Seo-Bo and Chung Sang-Hwa in his St. Germain studio, Kim became a figure of global success to painters back home.

Drawing from the Pop Art and Minimalism he encountered in New York, Kim continued his study of pure abstraction until 1969, at which point he began producing globular, phlegmatic forms that appear to ooze out through the canvas, as in the painting Untitled (1971). The following year, the artist unveiled a painting of a magnified single drop of water in the first exhibition at Salon de Mai in Paris, France. It was Kim’s ability to navigate between diverse modes of abstraction, minimalism, and photorealism that led him to settle into this motif that he would continue to pursue.

Spanning the early 1970s to the present day, Kim Tschang-Yeul devoted his career to a single optical device that allowed him to confront the dichotomy between nature and contemporary culture: the drop of water. As Kim explained, “The act of painting water drops is to dissolve all things within [these], to return to a transparent state of ‘nothingness.’ By returning anger, anxiety, fear, and everything else to ‘emptiness,’ we experience peace and contentment. While some seek the enhancement of ‘ego,’ I aim toward the extinction of the ego and look for the method of expressing it.”

The artist paints the drops themselves with an exactness that leads the viewer to question their own vision or the act of seeing. Their hyperrealism at first glance instills a desire to touch the canvas, tricking the eye in the style of Op-Art. One notes though that the beads find their form not in the depiction of the water, but in their implied surroundings and the optical effects they generate. Kim himself, through his continuous return to water, finds his identity as an artist and an expatriate through his circumstances as the drops find theirs through light and shadow. He explores the complex dualities within a single form: water as a gentle, life-giving element but one that has the power to destroy and erode; the liquid drops having condensed from an invisible gaseous state and destined to return to said state once again as part of an endless cycle, as can be witnessed in Untitled (1973). In an essay on the artist’s work, Lee Ufan noted “it is symbolic to say that in painting water drops Kim does not paint them as an existential phenomenon, but treats them as an event of ‘light.’ […] Perhaps being and non-being are but a directional play of light and shadow.”

In displaying several historic works by Kim Tschang-Yeul, this exhibition at Tina Kim Gallery showcases and traces the artist’s path to settling on the motif that would occupy his entire four-decade-long career. Additionally, it contextualizes the works as self-portraits in which the artist encapsulates and analyses the psychological and emotional consequences of civil war and displacement.

 

ABOUT KIM TSCHANG-YEUL

Kim Tschang-Yeul was born in Maengsan, Korea in 1929 and graduated from the College of Fine Art, Seoul National University in 1950. In 1996, Kim was bestowed with the French Order of Arts and Letters followed by the National Order of Cultural Merits of Korea in 2012. The artist participated major international group exhibitions such as Korean Contemporary Painting Exhibition, Paris, France (1971); Salon de Mai, Paris, France (1972-76); Korea: Facet of Contemporary Art, Tokyo Central Museum, Tokyo, Japan (1977); and Korean Drawing Now, The Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA (1981). Kim’s significant retrospectives were held at the Gwangju Museum of Art, Korea (2014); National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan (2012); National Museum of China, Beijing (2005); and Jeu de Paume National Gallery, Paris, France (2004). In honor of the artist, Kim Tschang-Yeul Museum was founded in 2016 in Jeju, Korea, recently showcasing Kim’s solo exhibition, Récurrence, in 2018.

His works can be found among the collections of numerous institutions including the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Korea; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art, Japan; National Museum of Modern Art, Japan; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, USA; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA.

Composition by Kim Tschang Yeul, 1969, Acrylic and cellulose lacquer on burlap, Painting, Exhibition 'New York to Paris' at Tina Kim Gallery
Composition by Kim Tschang Yeul, 1969, Acrylic and nitrocellulose lacquer on linen, Painting, Exhibition 'New York To Paris' at Tina Kim Gallery
Composition by Kim Tschang Yeul, 1970, Acrylic and nitrocellulose lacquer on linen, Painting, Exhibition 'New York To Paris' at Tina Kim Gallery
Composition by Kim Tschang Yeul, 1970, Acrylic and nitrocellulose lacquer on linen, Painting, Exhibition 'New York To Paris' at Tina Kim Gallery
Événement de la nuit by Kim Tschang Yeul, 1970, Oil Painting, Exhibition 'New York To Paris' at Tina Kim Gallery
Water drop by Kim Tschang Yeul, 1976, Oil Painting, Exhibition 'New York To Paris' at Tina Kim Gallery
Waterdrops by Kim Tschang Yeul, 1980, Oil Painting, Exhibition 'New York To Paris' at Tina Kim Gallery
Waterdrops by Kim Tschang Yeul, 1973, Oil Painting, Exhibition 'New York To Paris' at Tina Kim Gallery

Artist CV

KIM TSCHANG-YEUL

1929                Born in Maengsan, Pyeongannamdo, Korea

1948-50           College of Fine Art, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

1966-68           The Art Students League of New York

1996                Honored with l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France

2012                Honored with The National Order of Cultural Merits, Korea

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019

Kim Tschang-Yeul: New York to Paris, Tina Kim Gallery, New York, USA

 

2018

Almine Rech Gallery, New York

Récurrence, Kim Tschang-Yeul Art Museum, Jeju, Korea

Kim Tschang-Yeul, L'évènement de la nuit, Chapelle du Méjan, Arles, France

 

2017

A Communion of Beads, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, China

Traces of Beads, Metaphysical Art Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

 

2016

Galerie Baudoin lebon, France

Galerie 75 Faubourg – Galerie Enrico Navara, Paris, France

 

2014

Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, Korea

Kongkan Gallery, Busan, Korea

 

2013

Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

Park Ryu Sook Gallery, Jeju, Korea

Galerie Baudoin lebon, Paris, France

 

2012

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan

 

2011

ART PARIS, Galerie Baudoin lebon, Grand Palais, Paris, France

 

2010

Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

 

2009

Busan Museum of Art, Busan, Korea

PYO Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

2008

PYO Gallery LA, Los Angeles, USA

Valerie Bach Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

 

2007

Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

 

2006

PYO Gallery Beijing, Beijing, China

 

2005

Gallery BHAK, Seoul, Korea

National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

 

2004

Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France

Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

 

2002

Gallery BHAK, Seoul, Korea

 

2000

Gallery Hyundai, Galerie BHAK, Seoul, Korea

 

1999

Andrew Shire Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

 

1998

Gallery MMG, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Sakamoto Zenzo Museum of Art, Kumamoto, Japan

 

1997

Gallery Hyundai/Galerie BHAK, Seoul, Korea

Draguignan Museum, Draguignan, France

Aqua Museum 104° Inaugural Commemoration Exhibition, Shimane, Japan

Commemoration Exhibition, Shimane, Japan

 

1995

Mural Painting Installation, Fukuoka City Public Library, Fukuoka, Japan

 

1994

Sonjae Museum of Contemporary Art, Gyeongju, Korea

Kongkan Gallery, Busan, Korea

 

1993

SAGA Matsumura Graphics - Tokyo, Paris, France

National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea

Galerie Enrico Navara, Paris, France

Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

 

1991

Sigma Gallery, New York, USA

Staempfli Gallery, New York, USA

Inkong Gallery, Daegu, Korea

Kongkan Gallery, Busan, Korea

 

1990

Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

 

1989

Kasahara Gallery, Osaka, Japan

Suzukawa Gallery, Hiroshima, Japan

Andrew-Shire Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

 

1988

Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Seibu Contemporary Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

 

1987

Naviglio Gallery, Milan, Italy

Gallery Moos, Toronto, Canada

Staempfli Gallery, New York, USA

Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

 

1985

Staempfli Gallery, New York, USA

 

1983

Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Staempfli Gallery, New York, USA

Kasahara Gallery, Osaka, Japan

Veranneman Foundation, Kruishoutem, Belgium

Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

Takagi Gallery, Nagoya, Japan

 

1981

Gallery Moos, Toronto, Canada

 

1979

Moos Gallery, Toronto, Canada

Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

Staempfli Gallery, New York, USA


1978

Staempfli Gallery, New York, USA

Naviglio Gallery, Milano, Italy

Gallery Takagi, Nagoya, Japan

Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

 

1977

Antwerp Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium

 

1976

Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Kaneko Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

 

1975

West Germany-Kunst Hause, Hamburg, Germany

Abbays Saint-Michael de Frigolet, France

Gallery November, Berlin, Germany

 

1974

Gallery Sprick, Bochum, Germany

Gallery Jasa, Munich, Germany

Gallery Valerie Engelberts, Geneva, Switzerland

 

1973

Knoll International, Paris, France

Gallery Thot, Avignon, France

 

1963

Press Center, Seoul, Korea

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019

Abstraction(s), Song Art Museum, Beijing, China

 

2018

Ways of Seeing, The New York University Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

 

2017

Ways of Seeing, Fondation Boghossian | Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium

 

2016

Artistes coréens en France, Musée Cernuschi, Paris, France

 

2015

MMCA Collection Highlights: Untitled, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea

 

2013

A Moment of Truth, Hansol Museum, Wonju, Korea

 

2012

Thoughts in Korean Modern Art, Pohang Museum of Steel Art, Pohang, Korea

 

2011

Qi is Full, Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, Korea

 

2010

Portrait of the Korean War, Museum of Art at Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

Korean Avant-Garde Drawing, Soma Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

OFF the WALL, Clayarch Gimhae Museum, Gimhae, Korea

 

2009

Beginning the New Era, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea

Art & Chinese Character, Gallery Yookgongsa, Busan, Korea

The Colour of Nature—Monochrome Art in Korea, Wellside Gallery, Shanghai, China

 

2008

Recomposition of the Works, Gyeonggi-do Museum of Art, Ansan, Korea

Korean Contemporary Art Show, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, Singapore

Contemporary Korean Artists in Paris, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea

In Memory of Moon Mi Aie, Whanki Museum, Seoul, Korea

 

2007

Writing Paintings, Painting Words, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

Poetry in Motion, Galerie Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland

 

2006

Kim Whan-Ki, Kim Tschang-Yeul, Lee U-Fan, 1970–1980: Where, in What Form, Shall We Meet Again, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

 

2005

Poem of Indian Ink, Guimet Museum of Asian Art, Paris, France

 

2004

Painting in Korea—Yesterday and Today, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

 

2002

Work on Paper by 4 Korean Artists, Gallery Bijutsu Sekai, Tokyo, Japan

 

2001

Monochrome Painting in Korea, Korea Art Gallery, Busan, Korea

Korean Contemporary Art Festival (KCAF), Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

Fondation coréenne d'Art et de Culture, Seoul, Korea
 

2000

Gwangju Biennale 2000 Special Exhibition, The Facet of Korean and Japanese Contemporary Art, Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, Korea

 

1998

Les peintres du silence, Museum of Art and History, Monbliéard, France

 

1997

Made in France, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
 

1996

Letter and Images, Hanlim Museum, Daejeon, Korea

 

1992

Working with Nature: Traditional Thought in Contemporary Art from Korea, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, England

Ecole de Seoul, Kwanhoon Gallery, Seoul, Korea

Hangul, Seoulim Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1991

Ecole de Seoul, Kwanhoon Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1990

Ecole de Seoul, Kwanhoon Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1989

Ecole de Seoul, Kwanhoon Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1988

Olympiad of Art: The International Contemporary Painting Exhibition (sponsored by Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee), National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea Contemporary Art and the Olympics: Exhibition of Official Fine Art Posters & Lithographs of the 24th Olympiad Seoul 1988, Lloyd Shin Gallery, Seoul, Korea
 

1987

Ecole de Seoul, Kwanhoon Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1986

Seoul-Paris, Press Center, Seoul, Korea and Center National des Arts Plastiques, Paris, France

Korean Art Today, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea

 

1985

Human Documents ’84/’85, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japa

 

1984

Korean Contemporary Fine Arts Exhibition—The Stream of the ’70s, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

Art Today, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

 

1983

Korean Contemporary Arts Exhibition—The Latter Half of the ’70s: An Aspect, Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo, Utsunomiya, Fukuoka, Japan

 

1982

Korean Contemporary Art Phase, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto, Japan

Works on Paper in Korea and Japan, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea; travelled to Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto; The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama; and Kumamoto Traditional Crafts Center, Kumamoto, Japan

 

1981

Dealers Eyes, Long Island Museum, New York, USA

Korean Drawing Now, Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA

 

1980

Asian Artists Exhibition Part 2, Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

Festival: Contemporary Asian Art Show, Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

Faculty Choices, Albany Museum, New York, USA

Salon des grands et jeunes d’aujourd’hui, Grand Palais, Paris, France

 

1979

Reality of Illusion Traveling Exhibition, Denver Art Museum, Denver, USA

 

1977

The 15th Biennale of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Korea: Facet of Contemporary Art, Tokyo Central Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Korean Modern Painting, National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan


1976

Aspect of Realism, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada

Salon de Mai, Paris, France

 

1975

Salon de Mai, Paris, France

 

1974

Salon de Mai, Paris, Franc

 

1973

Salon de Mai, Paris, France

Salon des Réalitiés Nouvelles, Paris, France

The 12th Biennale of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

 

1972

Salon de Mai, Paris, France

50 Paintings of Salon de Mai de Paris, Yugoslavia

Festival International de la Peinture (International Painting Festival), Cagnes-sur-Mer, France

The 8th Prints Biennale of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

4 Painters Exhibition, Museum of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France

 

1971

Korean Contemporary Painting Exhibition, Paris, France

 

1969

Avant-Garde Festival, New York, US

 

1965

The 8th Biennale de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

 

1962–64

The Actuel Exhibition, Shinsegae Art Hall, Seoul, Korea

 

1961

The 2nd Biennale de Paris, Paris, France

 

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, USA

Aqua Museum 104°, Shimane, Japan

Art Center Nabi, Seoul, Korea

Bochum Museum Art Collection, Bochum, Germany

Busan City Museum of Art, Busan, Korea

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Daejeon Museum of Art, Daejeon, Korea

Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, Korea

Daelim Museum, Seoul, Korea

Foundation Veranneman, Ghent, Belgium

Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

Fundació Stämpfli, Sitges, Barcelona, Spain

Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, Korea

Hakodate Museum, Hokkaido, Japan

Hansol Museum, Wonju, Korea

Hiroshima Contemporary Museum of Art, Hiroshima, Japan

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., USA

Ho-Am Art Museum, Yongin, Korea

Iwaki City Museum of Art, Iwaki, Japan

Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA

Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA

Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, Japan

Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan

Museum of Oriental Art, Cologne, Germany

Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA

National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea

National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan

Niigata Prefectual Museum of Modern Art, Niigata, Japan

Ohara Museum of Art, Kurashiki, Japan

Saitama Modern Art Museum, Saitama, Japan

Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

Seoul National University Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

Shimonoseki City Museum of Art, Shimonoseki, Japan

Sonjae Museum of Contemporary Art, Gyeongju, Korea

Sunkyung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Takamatsu, Japan

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan

Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul, Korea

Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada

Back To Top