Crossing borders while tracing lines

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Crossing borders while tracing lines


A black-and-white photo of bamboo

It’s difficult to categorize Kim Paik-sun’s solo show going on at Hakgojae Gallery near Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul. On the floor are installation art pieces made of wood that look like architectural structures. Photos of architecture hang on some of the walls.

So it’s an architecture exhibition? But other walls have traditional Korean ink drawings and black-and-white photos of bamboo swaying in the wind. The works are from a range of genres and subjects.
Still, there is some consistency. Everything is in moderate colors - wood brown or black and white. The tones make the lines clearly stand out.
“My interest in the lines from the strokes of traditional ink paintings is always at the base of my works,” Kim told reporters last month. The 47-year-old is a well-known architect who designed the UN Village townhouses in central Seoul, Alternative Space Loop gallery in western Seoul and is designing the residential floors of the 123-story Lotte World Tower under construction in eastern Seoul.

But Kim didn’t major in architecture - he studied ink painting at Hongik University. He has long been fascinated by the lines of East Asian aesthetics. He started his career as a painter and installation artist, then became an interior designer.


An image of the interior of Hana Bank’s Private Bank, which is finished with traditional Korean paper called hanji

“I attach great importance to everyday life,” Kim said. “Everyday life is related to diverse genres of art and design. So I’ve naturally come to cross the borders between genres.”

Now he works not only as architect but also as art director at events that seek to modernize traditional Korean arts and crafts.


An image of a wooden pavilion for exhibiting the culinary traditions of Jeonju installed at Gyeongbok Palace in 2009. All are part of architect Kim Paik Sun’s solo show at Hakgojae Gallery. Provided by the gallery

By Moon So-young []

The show runs through March 17. Admission is free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. The exhibit is closed on Monday. Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 2, and walk 10 minutes. For more information, visit or call (02) 720-1524~6.
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