Published: Jan. 31, 2014

A renowned Seoul-based artist will use steel ground into a fine, black powder to write calligraphic inscriptions on the floor of the CU-Boulder Visual Arts Complex on Feb. 11, followed by a performance-art piece and a lecture by the artist.

This is one of several free events during the two-week residency of Kim Jongku at the University of Colorado Boulder Department of Art and Art History. Kim works in sculpture, video, painting and photography and will be in residency here Feb. 3 to Feb. 14.

On Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 6:15 p.m. in the Visual Arts Complex, the visiting artist lecture series and University Libraries cosponsor “The Materiality of Transmutation: What Persists and What Projects,” an exhibition, performance, lecture and panel discussion.

The public may watch Kimʼs new artwork being created on site in the Visual Arts Complex Lobby, followed by a performance-art piece at 6:40 p.m.  The artist lecture is at 7 p.m. in the VAC Auditorium, 1B20, followed by a panel discussion at 7:30 p.m.

Kim will demonstrate and discuss his use of calligraphic inscriptions on canvas or the floor, as if the iron powder were Chinese ink. When the art is created on a floor, Kim uses closed-circuit cameras to project his constructed vista onto a screen to evoke traditional Korean ink-and-brush painting.

The panel includes William Morrow, the Denver Art Museum Polly and Mark Addison Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, who will explore Kim’s unique relationship with steel and discuss the artist’s work in the context of historical and current movements in contemporary art.

Alexander Watkins, assistant professor and art and architecture librarian at CU-Boulder, will discuss whether and how performance art should be preserved for future researchers. Many performance artists believe their performances are ephemeral, had-to-be-there moments that cannot be captured in documentation.

Attempts to preserve performance art necessarily transform into other media: video, photography, installation; these surrogates can become replacements for the original work, some contend.

On Friday, Feb. 14, in the Andrew J. Macky Gallery in the foyer of the Macky Auditorium Concert Hall on campus, a reception from 5:30  p.m. to 7:30 p.m. sponsored by BMoCA at Macky will highlight “Kim Jongku: Steel Powder Painting and Landscape,” an exhibition of the works created during the artist’s campus residency, which will be on display through March 30.

This event is also free and open to the public. BMoCA at Macky is a series of exhibitions curated by Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and presented in the Macky Gallery.

Additionally, on Thursday, Feb. 13, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Denver Art Museum (Hamilton Building, lower level), Kim will speak on “The Iron Powder: The Metamorphosis of Steel in Video Installations & Other Artworks.” This Curator’s Circle Lecture is free, but reservations are required and can be made by calling 720-913-0040 or emailing

Kim’s appearance is supported by grants from the CU President’s Fund for the Humanities and the CU-Boulder Center for Asian Studies. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Art and Art History and University Libraries.

For more information,call Valerie Albicker at 303-492-2539.



Kim Jongku at work on one of his signature creations. Photo courtesy of Kim Jongku.