Kim Joon, ‘Red Bubble 3’, 2012, Sundaram Tagore Gallery

About Kim Joon

Masterfully manipulating 3D-imaging software, Seoul-based artist Kim Joon crafts exquisite composite photographs of the human form, often depicted heavily tattooed or patterned, as if made from traditional porcelain. “I see skin, or in some cases the monitor, as an extension of the canvas,” he says. Kim’s exploration of tattoo culture has its roots in his time in the military, where he tattooed his peers, and he references the practice in order to grapple with issues of taboo, image obsession, spirituality, and the aestheticization of the body. “Tattoo or tattooing symbolizes the multi-layered composites of desire and will, emotion and action, pain and pleasure of self and other,” he says, “which can be translated as a complex system of complicit activities.” Digitally applying the tattoos to his subjects, the artist creates a range of intricate patterns, from ancient designs to corporate logos and iconic works of modern art. Another famous body of Kim’s work is his fabricated images of fragments of porcelain shaped to look like parts of the human body.

Korean, b. 1966, Seoul, South Korea