Born 1963 Seoul, South Korea
Lives and works in Seoul, South Korea
Whether they propose philosophical pondering, flights of fancy or wry social commentary, Kim Beom’s ideas manifest in the most charming ways, through gorgeous drawings, deliberately ham-fisted porcelain, prose writing, and arrangements of humble, everyday objects. Part of the generation of Korean artists who came of age during the democracy struggles of the 1980s, Kim has developed a conceptually informed, materially rich practice whose humility of scale and tone belies the sharp observations and absurdist humour of its content. Kim’s ‘Blueprints and Perspectives’ are a series of satirical drawings and plans for imaginary structures that the artist has developed since 2002. These include a school that offers lessons in defying gravity, a spy ship disguised as a cloud, and a bat-shaped safe house for tyrants, complete with escape pod.
Kim Beom’s ‘Blueprints and Perspectives’ series, which was begun in 2002, depicts imaginary machines, vessels and structures. Each work typically consists of a lavishly rendered architect’s impression accompanied by a blueprint. As gleeful and humorous as these plans appear — with an engineering inventiveness appropriate to children’s fiction — they retain a parodic and sinister edge.
Kim belongs to the generation of South Korean artists whose adult life has coincided with their country’s transition to civilian democracy, and he takes a critical view of social developments. He has described his ‘Blueprints and Perspectives’ as metaphors for society, based on the absurdity, inhumanity, arbitrariness and contradiction that he has experienced in his own life. The matter-of-factness of the blueprint reflects the depersonalisation and machine-like logic of contemporary economics and social design.
Kim points out that while none of the creations detailed in his ‘Blueprints and perspectives’ series are real, ‘they are not that much more absurd and irrational than many things that we find in the real world’.