Rome Exhibition of the art works of fr Kim En Joong, OP

Rome Exhibition of the art works of fr Kim En Joong, OP

The exhibition of the works of art of the renowned Dominican artist, fr Kim En Joogn titled, “Schegge di Luce” will be held at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome from 12 July to 29 September 2017.

The exhibition is organized in honour of the 60th priestly anniversary of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the Emeritus Archbishop of Malines-Bruxelles. In 2000, at the exhibition at Saint-Michel Cathedral in Brussels, fr Kim attracted the attention of Cardinal Danneels and a great friendship was born. The exhibition also pays tribute to Bernard Anthonioz and Geneviève de Gaulle-Anthonioz, close friends of fr Kim. There will also be a feature of three poems of François Cheng, poems inspired by the works of fr Kim.

The Person

Born near Seoul, South Korea in 1940, fr Kim attended the School of Fine Arts in Seoul in 1959. Originally a Buddhist, he received baptism in 1967. Drawn to Europe in 1969 out of a strong desire to know more about Western ‘abstract’ art, he entered the Dominican Order in Fribourg, Switzerland the same year. He made his first religious profession of vows in 1971 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1974.

A painter and a priest, these are two vocations that are seamlessly combined in his person. Therefore, from the very beginning, his mission as a preacher has been expressed in the arts of paintings, stained glasses, ceramics and liturgical vestments. At the same time, his profound experience of the Christian faith gives a spiritual dimension to all his works.

The works of art

The uniqueness of his art stems from an inner experience from which faith appears far more visibly in his works than in other forms of art which begs for explanation.  The vastness of his works are enormous.

The Paintings: fr Kim is indebted to and remains faithful without exception to the needs for this form of abstract painting. This gives him the opportunity to explore the shapes and colours, the absence of figures, traits and stains with a wealth of expression so original and unique to him. From his use of the power of colours to his discovery of oil on canvas which gave his pictorial intuition the expression of freedom, life and mystery, combining and relating the intimacy of poetic and spiritual experiences

The Stained Glasses: The stained glasses of fr Kim have a combination of both contemporary architecture and Romanesque architecture, combined with unique forms and techniques which convey their unique quality. These glasses can be admired in the windows of the Basilica of Brioude, the Cathedral of Évry, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Brussels and the Chapel of St Irenaeus in Lyon.

The Ceramics: Entering into a Korean tradition of more than a millennium, fr Kim creates series of ceramics from the wealth of his encounter with Maurice Brivot in 2002, at the laboratory of Charolles ceramics. Far from catching up with classical forms (pots, plates), he deforms and transfigures them. It is certain that, in any case, he attaches great importance to this form of art.

The Chasubles: Liturgical vestments have always been of general interest to artists because of its magnificent orthodox style. As a painter and a priest, fr Kim felt the need to make chasubles. Although, these are not theatrical customs or those of public characters like judges, doctors etc., they are at the service of a mystery that finds its expression in the liturgical celebrations.

The exhibition will be open all days of the week except on Saturdays and Sundays.


(10 July 2017)