ARTIST Kim iL Tae
24K Pure Gold Painting, Unique in the World
GOLD has held a special place in the human imagination for millennia. Being compared to the mighty sun, the Incas called it the ‘tears of the sun’. This sun-coloured metal is seen as being synonymous with power, beauty and the cultural elite. Distinct among metals for being imperishable, never tarnishing in air or in water, gold is dense, soft and ductile with an attractive yellow colour and lustre. It is not a coincidence that yellow is the royal colour in Brunei, Malaysia and Thailand.
Gold leaf was used in the creation of illuminated manuscripts in Constantinople, Ireland and Italy from the 5th century。The most notable of whom is the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), a prominent exponent of the equality between the fine and decorative arts. During his ‘golden phase’, Klimt created a series of gold leaf paintings which include his world-famous masterpieces ‘The Kiss’, and the ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I’ which was renamed ‘The Lady in Gold’
In an exciting new development, Kim Il Tae, a South Korean contemporary artist, driven by his passion for art just the same and spurred on too by the women in his life, has taken gold art to a whole new level. Unlike others who have produced gilded paintings, Kim’s work is made with 24 karat gold. He has created his own unique path which can’t be imitated by others.
The Origin and Mission of Painting with Gold
Kim’s work is made with 24 karat gold, the purest form, with 999 parts per thousand of gold. No other medium will do, as this artist intends to make an indelible mark and leave the world with works of art that will last forever – the kind that will not fade or crack or crumble in time – or in his own words ‘something that will last for 1,000 years’.
Oil painting will lose its original color and it will crack over the time. However, Kim’s pure gold art has no issue about this problem. Kim’s works spread and share the feeling of wealth, happiness, benevolence and happiness to the world, and this spirit will be passed on from generation to generation and remain unchanged.
Not just gold, but art
Interestingly, when people used to ask him about the gold weight in each painting, he’d say that if it was gold that they wanted, they really should get a gold bar instead. Rightly so, anything involving gold is a grand affair to begin with, without even considering the novelty and the great skill behind a work of this kind. There is truth to the saying ‘If you have to ask, you can’t afford it’. His unusual paintings are an impressive sight to behold, imparting as they do a gleaming three-dimensional quality in both natural and exhibition settings. To say that they should not be appraised on just the value of the gold is only stating the obvious. Gold and art are two precious things to hold and behold, each with its own individual merit.
Kim first caused a commotion in the Korean art scene in 2011. At his first private exhibition in Insa-dong, an arts and culture district in Seoul, a metal detector was employed to verify the purity of the gold used. Since that initial alarm, his extraordinary paintings have caught the imagination of the Korean public and garnered wider audiences, earning him worldwide critical acclaim and the distinction of being the only artist in the world who paints and sculpts pure gold on canvas.
To date, Kim Il Tae has held over 20 exhibitions in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Yangon and Los Angeles with more planned in the near future at other venues. The highlight of his career includes a two-week solo exhibition in 2016 at London’s Saatchi, a gallery renowned for exhibiting only the finest in contemporary art. In July of 2014, he was interviewed by The New York Times and they have made this quote for Kim:
“To be remembered as an artist who did not follow the trends of his time but made his own path in the international community through gold art”