Sung Hwa Kim’s radiant lifeforms are a reminder of the ephemeral nature of humanity
The artist uses a mix of acrylic, gouache and flasche to give his paintings a unique surface texture.
For Sung Hwa Kim, painting has always been a method for exploring the meaning of our existence. To do so, he explores “the dichotomy between light and dark”. Sung often paints flowers, weeds, butterflies and bugs, all with a luminescent glow and placed against dark backgrounds. This contrast, he observes, is a “reminder of our mortality and the ephemeral nature of human existence”. He continues: “these radiant lifeforms symbolise the spirit of things we once loved, have lost and are longing for.”
Born and raised in Seoul, Sung now lives in New York, where he walks the streets to get his creative juices flowing. “It’s essential to my practice to be actively attentive, open and receptive,” he says. Another means of inspiration for the artist is poetry, for the way its form allows the information and feelings to slowly and lyrically unfold – “the images that invoke in a painting serve as a shared language, a set of symbols,” he adds. Undoubtedly, Sung’s poetic paintings are one you’ll want to spend a quiet moment with.
Sung Hwa Kim: They are not gone / They will wait for you and be with you (Copyright © Sung Hwa Kim, 2022)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.