Whenever I bring my parents, who have no interest whatsoever in art, to an art exhibition they say, “Oh, even I can do this.” Only when they see a hyper-realistic art piece do they consider it to be a work of art. Kim Hong-joo’s solo exhibition at Kukje Galley isn’t exactly the kind that would impress my parents. The 12 new pieces by Kim Hong-joo shown in this exhibition are a series of abstract paintings. His drawings are untitled and on the canvas are huge figures he drew in pastels. At first, his work looks like a single paint stroke or a drawing of some stains on wallpaper. And it’s not easy to interpret what the artist was trying to express even if you stare at the images. His works may look simple but are actually a result of his delicate paint strokes and an extreme amount of labor. Kim Hong-joo puts more emphasis on the act of painting rather than on the objects he draws. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he focused on hyperrealism and painted different objects, such as a makeup table, windows, cars, people and landscapes. Considering how monochromatic abstract painting was the trend at that time, the path he took was quite unique. After he moved to Mokwon University in Daejeon, he diverged from his original method of using objects and began to change. He drew landscapes using themes based on realistic images, such as furrows and lumps of soil, and got rid of perspective, light and shadows. His series of flower paintings, which he’s been working on since the ‘90s, has received the most attention from the masses. Without sticking to the cubic effect, textures, shadows and light, he fills his canvases with images of flowers and leaves. For the last 40 years he has developed his own style of painting by staying in between hyperrealism and abstraction. In short, nobody does it like him.