Kim Whanki’s Life & Works

Curator’s Talk

Related to the immersive video exhibition The Duet A Song from the Universe the lecture will introduce the life and works of the artist Kim Whanki, focusing on his paintings featured in the video. Through the life of Kim Whanki, a pioneer of Korean modern art, he guided the emergence and growth of Korean contemporary art. Additionally, by detailing the activities of the Whanki Foundation and the Whanki Museum, the aim is to demonstrate the continuity of Whanki's works into the present and beyond.

As we celebrate the 110th birth anniversary of the late Kim Whanki in 2023, a pioneer of Korean abstract art, his artwork is being introduced in Poland  for the first time in Europe  as an immersive video work.

Kim Whanki’s artistic journey can be mainly divided into three periods. The first period  spanning from the mid-1930s to the early 1950s marked the beginning of avant-garde group activities in both Japan and Korea as he laid the foundation of his abstract art form. During the Paris and second Seoul period, which lasted from the 1950s to the early 1960s, he developed a semi-abstract style using motifs with Korean sentiments such as jars, mountains, the moon, etc. In the New York period between 1963 to 1974, he accomplished his unique pure abstract form called ‘All-over Dot Paintings’ throughout various artistic experiments in composition and materials. Reflecting on this journey, this video consists of 3 parts with the images of 15 artworks that represents Whanki’s distinctive style from each period. As this video is based on Kim Whanki's major artworks, it showcases the transformation of Kim Whanki's artistic world into a realm of pure abstraction, allowing the audience to experience Korean sentiments in the universal world of beauty that transcends cultural boundaries.

In addition to the videos, a performance program brought to stage through the collaboration with Polish performers completes the exhibition titled The Duet  A Song from the Universe. Through their movements and the immersive images, we hope that Kim Whanki's artworks can resonate with and connect to the era across different times and cultures.

The opening will feature a performance by Aleksandra Dziurosz  dancer, choreographer, director of the Warsaw Dance Theater, artistic director of the International Dance Festival Warsaw Dance Days, contemporary dance educator affiliated with the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, artistic director of the Chopin University Dance Company. 

  • Lecturer
    • Lee Kko-Kka (Curator at the Whanki Museum)
  • Admission free
  • The lecture will be held in Korean and Polish languages
Event connected with:
Kim Whanki