Sung Eun Kim
Born in South Korea in
1985, Sung Eun Kim has been studying and creating art since he
was very young.
After he graduated from Daejeon Art High School in South Korea,
he came to United States to pursue his study of painting, and
finished his BFA at the California College of the Arts in 2010.
After graduation, he worked as a freelance illustrator of childrens
books for two years.
Because of his enthusiasm and passion for painting, he began
his MFA program at the Academy of Art University in 2012 and
has continued developing his artistic style.
Most of his paintings are based on photographs he took and are
chosen according to his own tastes. His paintings attempt to
create a sense of atmosphere and light not necessarily present
in the source of the photograph, but are interpreted through
his memories and life experience. As he studies the photo while
he is painting, he does this through the decisions he makes when
he translates photo images into the painting: color choices,
reconstructing of shapes, points of rendering.
Regarding the degree of realism found in his work, it ranges
between realistic depiction and unrecognizable abstraction.
In order to express his search for that particular degree of
depiction that represents his in-the-moment impression, he sometimes
describes as much information in the photo as possible, like
photo-realism. At other times, in rendering the constructions
in the photo, he does not necessarily follow the exact form of
the figures, but paints with more flexibility.
He tries to capture a sense of flowing atmosphere on figures
represented in his paintings. The same applies to expressions
of color. To bring out and emphasize the light in the painting
as he sensed the light when he took the photos. The selection
of pigments is sometimes simple, as can be seen in the original
photo and other times divided and switched to colors of his own
In other words, his paintings are about how he can interpret
the images in a way that represents his own personal, artistic,
and visual interests.