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7. King Bamboo

Kim Gyu-jin (1868-1933)

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King Bamboo
Kim Gyu-jin (1868-1933)
Signed and Sealed Haegang
Hanging scroll; ink on silk
Painting: 50 1/2 x 16 1/4 in (128.3 x 41.3 cm)
Mounted: 75 1/4 x 20 in (191.1 x 50.8 cm)

The famous late-Joseon literati painter Kim Gyu-Jin excelled at the traditional scholarly pursuits of painting and calligraphy, but was most renowned for his ink paintings of bamboo and orchids. In this pair of hanging scrolls, Kim’s bamboo are characterized by sharply defined leaves and forceful brushwork that convey the strength and uprightness for which the bamboo was revered. Kim has contrasted the elegant, classically composed bamboo with the angular, jutting planes of the rock that is quite modern in its rendering.

Kim taught calligraphy and painting to King Gojong’s son, and in 1920 was commissioned by King Sunjong to paint a mural of Geumgangsan (Diamond Mountain). Kim was instrumental in developing new Korean artists; he opened one of the first modern art galleries in Seoul in 1913 and founded a three-year training course for new artists.

Selected Collections
The Royal Collection at Changdok Palace
Korea Ho-Am Art Museum, Korea
Burke Foundation
The National Museum of Korea, Seoul
Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University

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