염기현 I Yeom Ki Hyun


줄 Yeom, Ki-Hyun, Meaning acrylic on toothpick 50X50cm 2018


줄 Yeom, Ki-Hyun, Meaning  acrylic on toothpick   50X50cm  2018

줄 Yeom, Ki-Hyun, Meaning  acrylic on toothpick 40X40cm 2019  200만원

줄 Yeom, Ki-Hyun, Meaning  acrylic on toothpick 40X40cm 2019 200만원

줄 Yeom, Ki-Hyun, Meaning  acrylic on toothpick 50X50cm  2019 300만원

줄임 Yeom, Ki-Hyun, Meaning  acrylic on toothpick   50X50cm  2018

Yeom, Ki-Hyun (염기현)



Bachelor’s Degree in Dept. of Painting at Chugye University of the Arts, Seoul

Master’s Degree in Graduate School of plastic Art in Sungshine Women’s University, Seoul

Solo Exhibitions

2019 Gallery Cafe Rubens, Seoul

Gallery Cafe Jilsiru, Seoul

2011 Arts Space Hyun, Seoul

2009 Gallery Young, Seoul

2002 Art Space Pool, Seoul


Major Group Exhibitions


Tomorrow different from yesterday(Yangpyeong Art Museum, Yangpyeong)

Mid-sized Artists Concentrated Illumination Exhibition(Donhwamun Gallery, Seoul)

20th Artists of Yangpyeong Exhibition (Yangpyeong Art Museum, Yangpyeong)

Invitational Exhibition of Young Artists in Gyeonggi Province(Gyeonggi Arts Center, Suwon)

Yangpyeonggun-chung Lobby Exhibition (Porvincial Office of Yangpyeong, Yangpyeong)



19th Artists of Yangpyeong Exhibition (Yangpyeong Art Museum, Yangpyeong)

30th Anniversary of Alumni Exhibition of Department of Printmaking at Chugye University of the Arts (Contemporary Arts Space C21, Seoul)


2017 5th Korea-Germany Exchange Exhibition (Urania Museum, Berlin)


2015 16th Artists of Yangpyeong Exhibition (Yangpyeong Art Museum, Yangpyeong)



International Art Fair in Busan (Bexco, Busan)

Invitational Exhibition of Young Artists in Gyeonggi Province(Gyeonggi Arts Center, Suwon)

Exhibition of Artists o in Yangpyeong (Yangpyeong Art Museum, Yangpyeong)



One Wave (Han Mool-gyeol) Exhibition (Yangpyeong Art Museum, Yangpyeong)

The Hare and the Tortoise Exhibition (Yangpyeong Art Museum, Yangpyeong)

68th Gyeonggi Fine Arts Association Arts Exhibition (Gyeonggi Arts Center)

14th Yangpyeong Fine Arts Association Exhibition (Yangpyeong Art Museum, Yangpyeong)


Envy My Home (Gallery We, Seoul)



People in Our Neighborhood (Yangpyeong Cultural Center, Yangpyeong)

2nd Korea-Germany Cultural Exchange Exhibition (Yangpyeong Art Musem, Yangpyeong)

13th Yangpyeong Fine Arts Association Exhibition (Yangpyeong Art Museum, Yangpyeong)

Hue Festival (Hue Royal Palace, Vietnam)



Four Seasons of Yangpyeong (Sustainable Agricultural Museum of Yangpyeong, Yangpyeong)

A Dot and … (Interalia Art Company, Seoul)

Man, Environment, and History met 4th Yangpyeong Environmental Arts Exhibition (Yangpyeong Art Museum, Yangpyeong)

Running Artists-Exhibition by Four Artists (E E Gallery, Yangpyeong)

A Couple Party Exhibition (Gallery SOBAB, Yangpyeong)

12th Yangpyeong Fine Arts Association Member Exhibition (Sustainable Agricultural Museum of Yangpyeong, Yangpyeong)



Installation Art at the 3rd Yangpyeong Environmental Art Festival (MANAS Art Center, Yangpyeong)

3rd Yangpyeong Environmental Art Festival Art Fair (Kobaco Traning Center, Yangpyeong)

3rd Yangpyeong Environmental Art Festival (Gallery WA, Yangpyeong)

11th Yangpyeong Fine Arts Association Exhibition (Sustainable Agricultural Museum of Yangpyeong, Yangpyeong)



Exhibition by Four Artists ( Sejong Center for the Performing Arts_Annex Exhibition Hall, Seoul)

OPEN Exhibition (Sejong Center for the Performing Arts-Gwanghamun Gallery, Seoul)



3rd SONG EUN Art Award (Gongpyeong Art Center, Seoul)

OPEN Exhibition (Gallery Jongno, Seoul)


2002 OPEN Exhibition ( Sejong Center for the Performing Arts-Gwanghamun Gallery, Seoul)


2001 New Millennium Exhibition (Gallery Dongho, Seoul), OPEN Exhibition (Gallery Daim, Seoul)

2000 OPEN Exhibition (Gallery Dukwon, Seoul)

1997 Great Honorable Exhibition of Korean Fine Arts(Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul)





The Return to the Warm Nature


Moon Sun-joo (PhD. Literature majoring in Art History)


The artist has returned. He has returned to us with a canvas of with plane but three-dimensional — because of wooden toothpicks he collected and painted — scenery of the bank of North Han River, where he resided near.

It must have been quite strange for him, who originally possessed an identity as an artist, to live as a father of a child and a husband of a wife. The “sacred” duty as a husband and a father to uphold a family has had predominated his innate nature to freely realize artistic desires. Because he had to devote most of his time to make a living, the artist who faced poverty of the time art-working had to compromise with reality. The work that he has been constantly doing since graduation, which was the accumulation repetitive drawings of a line, and tracing of pharynx that spreads from one point to the concentric circle was indeed a time-consuming task. That is, he had to modify or transform the character, “accumulation of a long period of time”, of the work he consistently presented since the first solo exhibition. However, what he could not give up as an artist were sincerity and wholeheartedness toward his art. The ongoing art work of his, the scenery of everyday life that was comprised of wooden toothpicks he repetitively collected from the beginning was the severe perseverance itself.

Numerous dots produced by a soldering iron are like tips of a toothpick. One toothpick represented one point, but these altogether formed lines and planes. To the artist, the toothpick was more than an inconsequential thing to be used and thrown away. It became the canvas on which the artist can spontaneously paint his own artistic sensibility. Moreover, toothpicks were the easiest and cheapest source for the artist. The toothpicks were the perfect fit to continue to work on his art during his spare time and even after household duties were completed.

He devised a work process with toothpicks. He needed a module to effectively simplify required materials for his art, directly apply and make diverse shape modules in a short period of time. He designed a process of making art works with a number of shape modules. One day, he created shape modules of flower, tree and river. Another day, he cut modules of excavator he saw at work, and even his children. On each shape module, he placed toothpicks and painted, after then he compounded them adding day-to-day landscapes resulted in a final art piece. This never was an easy task. Above all, it was indeed a laborious and time-consuming process. Despite all the tediousness and arduousness, he described the finished work as “an art like a diary.”

The selection of a toothpick as an material of art works seemed to stem from inquisitiveness and affection about the very physical property of wood. As he moved to Yangpyeong, the artist has met and collaborated with the more experienced people in woodworking. Since then, he has not only created wooden household furnitures including tables and chairs, but also built his own house. In addition, for two year, he learned the Korea traditional woodworking that made desks, four-stories-high shelves, and chests. While doing so, he had an invaluable chance to get a grasp of material properties of wood by touching and feeling a myriad of different trees and observing a process of a log transforming into a timber. His zealous passion and interest for the wood craft could be vividly proven by the fact that he even started making the korean traditional small dining tables, which is called Soban in Korean, after graduating the Korean traditional woodworking program.

The characteristics of the traditional wooden furnitures made by “contriving and joining” of shape modules of flowers, mountains, river, and figures link to reconstructing work of natural scenery of mind. The simple yet functional features of wood crafting, namely, “a form follows a function”, appears to be reflected in his landscape composed of minimized lines of forms. This evidently differs from his conventional works in which his astute eye sight and precise hands consistently captured and delicately depicted the forms. Perhaps he inherently possessed the sense of aesthetics of such Korean traditional woodworks.

It can be assumed that his affection toward woods is prompted by his nature and his art works that to certain degree resembles that of trees. That is, diversity of characteristics based on different personalities of wood such as a robust yet beautiful zelkova tree, a light and soft paulownia tree, and a sizable and durable pine tree, flexibility of wood that can be transfigured in a multitude of shapes, durability of wood that manages to sustain itself over a century by adopting to varying temperature and humidity, and sturdiness of wood that preservers its forms against external influences.

A difference between his conventional works and contemporary works would be the change of colors; he began to use the color the once achromatic, tranquil and meditative scenery to be more comforting and merrier. This is due to changes in the natural environment surrounding the artist. He placidly leaves a record of the sight of bountiful white or yellow dandelions that blossom when spring blooms in Yangpyeong, evening primroses under the moonlight, wild flowers that blossom every season, daily or seasonally changing green mountains across North Han River, and finally a silver crescent that rises above his house every night.

Looking like a wooden folk painting, an oil painting, or sometimes even a wood-cut-printing, his canvas was created. Could applying a few colors on a silent, monotonous picture produce such a warm impression? This warm and honest painting seems to be originated from the artist who enjoys the moonlight and water at night and adores small and beautiful things.

Likewise, the artist came to us with a piece of work that looked most relaxed as it holds high resemblance with his nature. The nature in which the artist would detour and pave his own way when encounters a barricade. We are pleased to welcome him not because he returned from a long journey, but because he returned with clothes what best suit him. The artist Ki-Hyun Yeom will be comfortable with this work for a while, so will the outcomes of his endeavors. This is why we feel the warmth and appreciate his art works, halfway between woodwork and flat painting.



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