Not only was the Korean contemporary artist Kim Whan-ki a pioneer in the field of abstract art while he was alive, but he also produced innumerable artworks promoting abstraction. He was best-known for his painting titled 05-IV-71 #200 (Universe), created in 1971. The painting is the only diptych he produced during his lifetime. As we can surmise from the title, the painting depicts the vastness of space with circular patterns painted in a myriad of blue dots. As the painting consists of two canvases, it measures 254 cm by 254 cm, making it Kim’s largest artwork he created while he was alive. In addition to being a magnificent painting describing the immensity of space, the painting recently made a milestone in Korean art history, as it became the first Korean painting to be auctioned off for over W10 billion. Specifically, the painting was sold for 88 million Hong Kong dollars (W13.2 billion) at an auction held at the Grand Hall of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in late November last year. Because of the buying commissions, the painting was eventually sold for 101 million Hong Kong dollars (W15.3 billion). Not surprisingly, it only took a few minutes for the painting’s bidding to surpass Kim’s last record of W8.5 billion achieved in May 2018. Becoming the first Korean painting to be auctioned off for over W10 billion means a lot, as it will help the next generation of artists have the chance to advance into the global art market.
Yejin Hwang Staff Reporter
1. In addition to producing innumerable artworks promoting abstraction, what did Kim Whan-ki achieve while he was alive?
2. As we can surmise from the title, what does the painting depict?
3. In addition to being a magnificent painting describing the immensity of space, how did the painting recently make a milestone in Korean art history?
1. How did you feel when you heard the news?
2. How do you think about the painting?
3. How do you think about abstraction?
4. Do you know any other paintings that depict the vastness of space?