Kim Joon graduated from Hongik University with a B.A from the School of Fine Art and an M.F.A. in Painting Dept. "I am interested in tattoos as a metaphor for hidden desire or a kind of compulsion engraved into human consciousness. I see the skin, or in some cases the monitor, as an extension of a canvas. My earlier tattoo paintings were three-dimensional canvases in the form of lumps of flesh or parts of a body, such as a muscular arm. Tattoos can reflect individual and collective reality or displaced desire."Read more
Kim Joon was originally a painter interested in exploring the dynamics and tensions that exist between mental and physical realms. Mr. Kim first became interested in the process of tattooing in college and while serving a three-year military term in Seoul, Korea. During his time in school and the military, he began to give homemade tattoos to his friends. When Mr. Kim gave these homemade tattoos he used needle, thread, and Chinese ink. He would dip the thread into the Chinese ink and let it drip down the needle into the skin.
In Kim's current works, which the artist likes to describe as"paintings," he uses water-based markers to create the designs. His process involves taking a piece of sponge and covering it in a layer of traditional cloth that is used as fabric liner in Korean sewing. The lining is then covered with very transparent fabric, and painted with two coats of a skin-colored hue. He also layers on mediums and finally varnishes the surface to create a more firm appearance. Mr. Kim remains fascinated between the tensions of the mind and body. He is also intrigued by the concept of the permanence of tattoos as a vehicle for marking one's soul.
Kim says these works were originally created on a much larger scale, but the art viewers in Korea found them extremely disturbing. However, now people are not as disturbed by his work.
Using animation photography, Joon creates three-dimensional human figures over which he meticulously grafts human, animal and artificially-created skin. These figures are then covered in bright patterns of "tattoos" made from logos of designer labels and traditional Asian imagery. His work explores the idea of the tattoo -- a major taboo in Korea --as an expression of secret desires and hidden pain. The pictures are trendy and cool. Joon is the type of dude who would put a hairy leg and buttocks onto a curvy, Botticelli-esque female figure, and who draws inspiration from pop, such as in "Neverland," with a pile of zombie-like limbs for his Thriller-inspired homage to Michael Jackson. Joon says, "The visual aesthetic elements of Eastern culture are ingrained in my consciousness and naturally come out when I'm working with this 20th century, modern and hip technology. So there's always a fusion of Western and Eastern in my work. The meeting, conflict, and struggle of the two cultures comes out very naturally." Kim teaches at Konju National University, Korea and has regular solo shows every year. He also participates in various art fairs.