It is an interesting comparison, indeed, given that the famous Willendorf sculptures date from somewhere between 24,000 and 22,000 B.C. and are considered the earliest man-made representations of the human form, while Kim’s works are contemporary. More than contemporary, even: they represent the Korean artist’s extensive education in Paris and Carrara, Italy, not to mention a two-year apprenticeship with the noted modern sculptor Jin-Kyu Kwon.
So what is the connection between the two? In both the Paleolithic sculptures and Kim’s modern counterparts, there is a question of human survival. In the Woman of Willendorf, the figure’s fertility is her key attribute, breasts and hips enlarged to the point of exaggeration. In Kim’s sculptures, the proportions are truer to life, but whether portrayed alone or with a partner or child, his figures communicate the message that woman is the center of life.