KIM KI-CHIANG’S PAINTINGS OF THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST 1 Essay Example

Kim Ki-Chiang’s paintings of the life of Jesus Christ

Abstract

Painting has been one of the dominant series or art works that characterizes the Korean art industry. One of the Korean arts popular for their influential paintings on various societal issues is Kim Ki-Chiang. Born in a place called Seoul in 1913, Kim has been a very successful art in the art industry. Most of his works have revolved around paintings. This he has done by harmoniously combining both colours and black ink. One of his famous paintings is the paintings on the life of Jesus Christ. This essay is an attempt to examine these paintings that have since propelled Christian believers’ world over to appreciate the universal nature of Christianity.

Key Words: Kim’s Paintings of Jesus Christ

Kim Ki-Chang’s Paintings of the Life of Jesus Christ

The year 1910 has been identified as the time when the Korean art became modern and so acquired a sense of modernism. However, controversies surround this notion with critics arguing against the assertion. Many Korean artists such as Oh Kwang-su think that the word contemporary should be used while describing the present day Korean art instead of modern. To justify his stand on the matter, Kwang-su notes that the Korean (especially South Korea) art industry, has for over the years applied the concept of modernism in its series of art work selectively (Misulgwan, 2006). In this regard, Kwang-su believes that the word contemporary would be appropriate. This argument notwithstanding, Korea continues to be one of those areas where one would find a series of rich art works. Painting has been one of the dominant series or art works that characterizes the Korean art industry. One of the Korean arts popular for their influential paintings on various societal issues is Kim Ki-Chiang. This essay attempts to highlight Kim’s paintings depicting the life of Jesus Christ, and examine the elements of modernism in such paintings.

Kim Ki-Chang was born in a place called Seoul in 1913. At the age of eight, he suffered from typhoid and later became deaf. When he attained the age of 16, his mother introduced him to the world of art. Initially, Kim’s work was characterized with the use of different colours but later on, he resorted to using black ink only. Kim Ki-Chang concentrated mainly on drawings due to the drawing skills he had acquired from the Idang’s teachings in 1930s. Due to his artistic progressiveness, Kim has worn different awards in the art industry. Notable examples are the Chosun Drawing exhibition award in 1931, 2nd May Culture prize in 1963, the 12th Sangil Culture award of 1971, the citizen’s merit ‘’Moranjang’’ of 1981 and the Seoul City Culture award of 1986. For close to a period of about 60 years of experience, Kim has shown exclusivity in his art work. His paintings have been described as original, unique, revolutionary and free of imitation (Kwantes, 2005). In 1977, he was invited to a road show with a number of Korean paintings in what was commonly known as the Stockholm Royal Oriental Museum. In his career, Kim has also presided over several festivals as a judge and served in many committees. He has served as a judge in; a Korean art exhibition, the 2nd International Juvenile Art Festival and the 19th Sangil Culture Prize. He has served as a committeeman in the Korean Art Association and as an organizing member of the Husoheo and Baekyangheo

During his work, as an artist, Kim has carried out several private exhibitions and also participated in many group exhibitions. An example of the group exhibitions he has taken part in is; the 10th and 19th Chosun exhibition of 1931 ad 1940. There are also several private exhibitions attributed to him. A few examples include: Kim Ki-Chang’s Exhibition of 1970 (Hyundai Gallery), Ki-Chang’s Exhibition of new works of 1972 (Seoul Gallery), Ki-Chang’s Exhibition of Religious pictures of 1977 (Kyongmi Gallery) (Garcia, 2008). This last exhibition is perhaps the subject of this essay.

As mentioned earlier, Kim’s paintings are said to be unique, original and even exclusive. However, in 1950s, he began to borrow from the Western ways of paintings. The influence of the Western painting styles was exhibited in his surrealistic paintings of the 1960s (Kim, 2007). In these paintings, the use of colours was a dominant feature. In the 1970s, Kim resorted to the traditional ink to perform his paintings. This trend changed in the 1980s as he began to use black ink in doing his paintings. While maintaining the Korean spirit of simplicity, Kim has remained creative in his work and based his undertakings on traditional beliefs. In most of his work, he tries to combine both colour and ink (Hang’uk, 2008). The combination has produced what many would call a perfect harmony. The combination of the colour and black ink is considered by analysts of Kim’s work as a function of modernism.

Ki-Chang’s Exhibition of Religious pictures of 1977 (Kyongmi Gallery) provides a platform on which the focus of this study is directed. His paintings on the life of Jesus Chris have been described by believers as real and yet humbling among believers in the Christian faith. The beautiful paintings of Jesus Christ portray his life during the birth, ministry and resurrection of Christ-from «The Annunciation» to «The Ascension.» In these paintings, Jesus and the rest of the personages are depicted as Koreans in traditional Korean artier. Kim’s paintings of the life of Jesus Christ examined in this essay include but not limited to the following:

  1. The Annunciation
    Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work)

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html.

Angel appeared before the Virgin Mary to convey the message that she would be the mother of God. The modernism in this painting is the use of colours to produce texture and form.

  1. Birth of Jesus Christ

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 1

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

In this painting, Kim depicts the scene that characterized the birth of Christ. His combination of colours as well as the use of black ink gives the painting a modern theme.

  1. A Visit by the Wise Men from the East

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 2

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

The use of different colours in this painting brings out a sense of modernism. The concept of modernism is also applied by Kim to create a scene as well as background.

  1. Jesus Lost for His Parents

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 3

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

The modern aspect of this painting is the use of colours to create form, texture and bring out the aspect of modern building technologies.

  1. Baptism of Jesus Christ

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 4

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

In doing this painting, Kim has succeeded in showing the water in which Jesus was baptized the sky and the background, thus bringing out a sense of modernism.

  1. Temptation of Christ

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 5

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

The concept of modernism has been applied in this painting to create texture, form as well as background. It also brings out the difference between Jesus and Satan.

  1. Jesus and the Woman at the Well

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 6

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

The use of colour in this painting depicts modernism in showing the scene of Jesus and the woman at the well.

  1. Jesus Feeds 5000 People

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 7

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

Modernism in this painting is brought out using different colours to create form, texture and background.

  1. Jesus Walks on Water

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 8

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

The aspect of modernism in this painting has been used to create feelings, texture and form. The felling of Jesus walking on water clearly is portrayed using colours.

  1. Jesus and the Children

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 9

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

In this painting, Kim applies the aspect of modernism through the use of colours to show various themes, form and texture.

  1. Jesus’ Challenge to the Disciples

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 10

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

In this painting, Kim depicts how Jesus challenged those who had brought a woman they had reported to Him as sinful. He challenges anyone among them who thought was not sinful to cast the first stone. Kim gives the painting a modern aspect by using colours to create form and texture.

  1. Entry into Jerusalem

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 11

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

The use of different colours in this painting gives it a modern aspect.

  1. Prayer at Gethsemane

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 12

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

The use of colours in this painting gives it form and texture thus creating the aspect of modernism. It also helps in giving the painting the required background.

  1. Jesus on Trial before Pontius Pilate

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 13

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

This painting has a lot of elements of modernism in it. The use of colours has helped to show the artier and the architectural design of the Roman Empire.

  1. Bearing the Cross

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 14

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

This painting depicts the sufferings that Jesus went through before being crucified. The aspect of modernism in this painting is in its use of different colours to create form and texture.

  1. The Resurrection

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 15

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

This painting depicts the resurrection of Christ on the third day. The use of different colours to create form and texture in this painting gives it a modern aspect.

  1. The Ascension

Beyond East and West: modernism in Japanese Art. (Choose ONE artist relate to this topic and talk about her/his work) 16

Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

In this painting, Kim shows how Christ ascended to heaven after resurrecting in the presence of His disciples in a modern way through the use of different colours.

The paintings of Kim on the life of Jesus Christ are considered revolutionary since many have always portrayed Christianity as a European affair. With these paintings, many in the Christian cycles are beginning to note that Christianity is a universal affair.

References

Garcia, R. (2008). Paintings Depict Jesus Christ in Korea. Retrieved 4th April, 2011 fromhttp://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

Hang’uk, Y. (2008). Paintings depicting the life of Jesus Christ: Retrieved 4th April, 2011 from www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/07/148_27288.html

Kim, Y. (2007). Sacred Paintings of Kim Ki-Chang. Retrieved 4th April, 2011 from http://kimchimamas.typepad.com/kimchi_mamas/2010/10/sacred_paintings.ht ml

Kwantes, A. (2005). Kim Ki-Chang Biography: Retrieved 4th April, 2011 from/past-auction-resultschangki+kimwww.artnet.com/artists/

Kyongmi Gallery. (2006). Paintings depicting the life of Jesus Christ: Retrieved 4th April, 2011 fromwww.koreatimes.co.kr

Misulgwan, K. (2006). Art Works of Kim Ki-Chang: Retrieved 4th April, 2011 fromsArtwork/…/ChangKiKimist/Art.com/artwww.mutual