Product Descriptionby Kwang-su Oh
size: A5, 160pages. publisher: Yolwhadang, 1998.
About this book
Much has been written and published about Kim Whanki, the most representative of the modem Korean artists, ranging from brief biographical pieces to interpretations of individual works to doctoral dissertations. Yet there has been no book-length critical biography that views the artist and his work as a whole.
Man Is Gone But Art Remains (appropriately subtitled A Part of Whanki's Biography) written by the artist's widow Hyang-an, based on his journal and creative notes, is the only book available today approximating such a critical biography.
The reason for this meager output of critical study more than twenty years after Whanki's death perhaps lies in the existence of the artist's materials as yet to be discovered and organized. Rarely does a single artist leave work of such variety and breadth. No doubt the cataloguing of the entire body of Whanki's work will require much time, and a sound and serious critical biography can begin only after this preliminary work is completed.
For the same reasons, this little book is lacking in many respects as a critical biography. Besides the fact that the book's content has not been based on the totality of Whanki's work, the writing itself had to be abbreviated due to limited space. The justification for this book lies in the possibility that it could serve as a guide for the average reader in approaching the artist's life and work. Prior to a full-fledged study of his work, an accessible guide was in order.
In this book the author offers a description of Whanki's life in chronological order, beginning from his Tokyo years to his death in New York. The traditional division of periods has been followed. An attempt was made to include as many quotes as possible from contemporary critics. Above all the author has tried to adhere to an objective account based on the existing materials in the belief that objective groundwork alone renders subjective criticism meaningful.
Table of contents
1913-1937 Seoul, Tokyo
1963-1974 New York