Biography

Born in Cheorwon, South Korea in the aftermath of the Korean War in 1954, the photographer Kim Jungman’s personal history has led him to become one of the most estimated artists in Korea’s fine art world.

Kim first left Korea as a teenager following his father, a government doctor dispatched to Burkina Faso, Africa. Leaving his homeland marked the beginning of a long philosophical journey that eventually took him to Europe to study painting. He discovered a passion for photography while attending the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts in the Villa Arson of Nice, France from 1974 to 1977.

In 1979, Kim won the prestigious Best Young Photographer Award at the Arles International Photography Festival. The same year, he was named one of Today’s 80 Photographers in France, the youngest on the list.

He eventually moved back to Korea to regain his roots. In doing so, he found his way into commercial and fashion photography in the 1980’s-90’s creating from Asia with the power of Avedon, Newton, Moon, Giacobetti and Ritts. In 2000, he was selected One of 33 Men of Culture of Korea by korea.com and was awarded Fashion Photographer of the Year.

In 2006 he left his flourishing career as a commercial photographer behind him, instead turning his lens to the countryside and the nature of his native land. For the last 10 years he produced a massive corpus of work with 4 majors series. Among them EAST, 17 monumental pictures of 5m x 3m in black and white framing the Asian landscape. Deep into his soul, Kim Jungman has discovered a pulsing vein of the ancient Orient and from the root of his past created a channel of discussion with his ancestors. His EAST images bring forth a contemporary reincarnation of the very nature that inspired winter landscapes by Li Cheng of the Song Dynasty or the seasons paintings by Ahn Gyeon during the Joseon Era of the Lee Dynasty.

In 2013 he started to show and sell his works internationally at the San Diego-based Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) at Paris Photo in Paramount Pictures Studio, Los Angeles.

2 monumental photographies of the EAST series, along with 4 others from the Hanbok series, were shown for the first time in Paris in October 2015 as Kim Jungman was invited at La Nuit Blanche by the Cernuschi Museum of Asian Arts and the Loo &Lou Foundation. With 6,000 visitors at the opening, the show achieved great success and was extended until 23 November.

On 16 February 2016, Kim Jungman received the prestigious Cultural Diplomacy Award from Asia Society.

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