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Join us for an evening with renowned Artist Kim Bong Jun

Saturday • June 22, 2024 • FREE

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm @ APCC - 3513 E. Portland Avenue, Tacoma

Please call 253-383-3900 or register online at

Light refreshments will be served.

Join us for an inspiring evening with Kim Bong Jun, a celebrated Korean artist whose work spans over 40 years of sculpture, painting, storytelling, and cultural activism. Born during a time of significant political and cultural change in Korea, Kim Bong Jun has dedicated his life to preserving and revitalizing folk traditions, myths, ceremonies, and advocating for basic human rights. His efforts have sparked a movement towards reconnecting with land-based cultures and fostering a global consciousness.

As the founder of the Museum of Mythology in Korea, Kim Bong Jun, now 70, aims to share his unique journey and vision with an international audience, building meaningful relationships through his original works and experiences. Don't miss this opportunity to engage with his powerful art and stories.

Exhibition Purpose 

Due to colonization and war, Korean society has been in a period of political upheaval and transformation. When I started creating art, state violence and anti-human rights laws were the norms of these nascent political regimes backed by global superpowers. I expressed my life and the struggle of our people through art, often addressing state-sanctioned violence, land grabs and various forms of political repression. In solidarity with farmers' associations and labor unions, my art and cultural work reflects the struggle of laborers and farmers and advocates for their dignity and rights. Supporting many peace movements, I feel the pain of the war and division of my country that has not yet ended. After graduating from art school and reflecting the life around me through art and writings, I became blacklisted as a violator of the 1980 Gwangju Democratization Movement's 5.18 declaration and ran away as a wanted man for about a year. The sheer hypocrisy of so-called democratic principles coupled with the iron fist of state sanctioned violence became a rudder for my art as a young adult. 

In order to create paintings that resonated with the people, I searched for and created a quick and easy visual art grammar called 'Asian brush'. I also saw the amazing self-sustaining power of traditional folk culture in the Joseon Dynasty through our folk tales and songs, mask dances and nongak. Our traditions were not dead or outdated, but alive and reinvented as an empowering aesthetic in various people’s movement and folk scene. I also developed Buddhist art into modern paintings, and recreated the folk painting tradition of Buddhist art, so my art has been called the people's art as it reflects the conditions and hearts of the masses. My forty years of creation has taken me from supporting labor peasants to human rights and a true democratic peace. Now, at the age of 70, I have entered a new phase of my life’s work. I see my work focused outside of Korea to share our culture, history and struggles to build meaningful relationships with a global family towards our common good. 

I have been doing various genres of art and have curated representative works in six genres that I’d like to bring outside of Korea: 12 large paintings (about 500x120 cm each), 30 terracotta sculptures, 40 paintings (oil and acrylic), 100 prints, 50 books and poster flyers, etc., so I am ready to share at a large exhibition. After visiting and building relationships in the U.S. for a few years, I want to add to the exhibition by drawing America with the eyes of a Korean artist. I have accumulated a lot of works as a full-time artist for 40 years and would be honored to share my works during this first of many trips and recognize that galleries, museums and other cultural spaces have their own timeline and process so if it does not work out this time, I would like to build relationships to show my work in future visits. 

My art is subtly related to the Korean Global Wave, a fusion of Korean indigenous culture, which has a long history of Hallyu, and Western globalized culture to create a unique culture of an East-West convergence. The various and unique character of Hallyu draws global attention to not only in Hangeul, K-Food, K-pop, K-drama, and K-fashion, but also in K-art, which is lesser known but is foundational to the more popularized cultural fusions and underpins many of the modern influences upon the soulful creativity of Korean people. 

I sincerely hope to share my life’s work as it reflects not only Korean culture, mythology, worldviews and history, but it’s far reaching implications for global politics, consciousness, and our collective future. Thank you for your time and consideration. 

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