Artist Q&A with Kim 25

In 2020, Kim25 began exploring the duality of the ‘boundary of undecidability’ that lies between inside and out, and sought to capture this complicated relationship. with her work “The Truth of Mystery.” In 2021 “The Truth of Mystery” series reveals its shape as the figure of the text at the point where inside and outside, inner world and outside reality, correspond. What is remarkable in her painting is that the undecidability of the boundary that belongs to both inside and outside turns into the very (textual, perhaps inter-textual) substance; the undecidability of the boundary becomes, through the artist’s kiasmatic logic, the boundary of undecidability that re-doubles the boundary and the object(s) and thus problematizes the boundariness of the boundary. Kim25’s poetic imagination that manifests itself on her canvas not only gives a new sense of aesthetics through which viewers can communicate with the newly expressed reality, but also facilitates the invitation to various interpretative participations.

“Meet of Each Other – L’éternité & Rimbaud”, oil on canvas, 32 x 46 in | 80 x 117 cm (each panel), 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

My favorite artists of all time are Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, and Julian Schnabel.

How did you become a professional artist?

I was always friends with art and painting. Ever since I was born and had strength in my hands, I always played with drawing utensils. Painting is a fickle friend I meet every day.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

I am influenced by words from literature. On a gloomy day, looking out the window at the scarlet red sunset, I imagine the red sea. I think of the fate of the sea and how it becomes a mirror for the sky, mixed altogether and flowing in space and then, Hemingway. “I feel confident today”, said the old man.

Kim25, portrait by StudioYeSulGil

How is your work different than everything else out there?

My image forms itself at the border of my inner self and outside world, and through text, it becomes the reality of the mystery embodied. The text crosses all genres and conventional hierarchies, and goes against the limited framework and rules of human thought. As with the text in the work, I am still an incomplete, unstable and open text.

When is a piece finished for you?

When the canvas tells me it is okay to end.

What’s different about your current body of work?

Before, in order to confirm where I stand, I would establish the relationship between inside and outside revealing that interaction while creating an uncertain boundary.  Whereas now, the waves and texts intermix revealing the relationship between internal order and external relations of actions.

“Meet of Each Other – Moby-Dick”, oil on canvas, 64 x 44 in | 162 x 112 cm (each panel), 2021

Tell us about a few of your career highlights or moments that have greatly affected your career?

It was 22 years ago at my solo exhibition in Seoul, insadong. The catalogue I made for the exhibition had been published and became a best-seller. The day after the opening, a CEO of a french cosmetic company came andpurchased the entire exhibition of 15 paintings. I almost fainted packing allthe work on a very hot summer day, but cannot forget that moment.

What’s coming up for you?

I am keeping myself busy through 2022.  After my current solo exhibit at Mizuma & Kips, NYC, ends in January, the works will be exhibited on Long Island.  Keumsan Gallery will exhibit me in Art Dubai with exhibits in Korea at the National Assembly Building Art Gallery followed by the Seoul-Busan-Gwangju Exhibit tour. 

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out today?

Start first, then think while working.

Who are some of your favorite underappreciated artists that you don’t think get enough attention?

The artists I would like to mention are well respected in Korea who I believe deserve much more global recognition: Hyun Chung (sculptor), Kukjin Kang(painter, printmaker, performance artist) , Sungnam Kim (painter).

“Never Resting, Not Ever – Tides”, oil on canvas, 28 x 24 in | 71 x 61 cm (each panel), 2021

To learn more about Kim25 and her work, please visit