"I am interested in tattoo as a metaphor for hidden desire or a kind of compulsion engraved into human consciousness. I see the skin, or in some cases the monitor, as an extension of a canvas. My earlier tattoo paintings were 3 dimensional canvases in the form of lumps of flesh or parts of a body, such as a muscular arm. Tattoos can reflect individual and collective reality or displaced desire. "
Kim Joon was originally a painter interested in exploring the dynamics and tensions that exist between the mental and physical realms. Mr. Kim first became interested in the process of tattooing in college and while serving a three year military term in Seoul, Korea. During his time in school and the military, he began to give home made tattoos to his friends. When Mr. Kim gave these home made tattoos he used needle, thread, and Chinese ink. He would dip the thread into the Chinese ink and let it drip down the needle into the skin.
In Mr. Kim's current works, which the artist likes to describe as "paintings", he uses water based markers to create the designs. His process involves taking a piece of sponge and covering it in a layer of traditional cloth that is used as fabric liner in Korean sewing. The lining is then covered with very transparent fabric, and painted two coats of a skin colored hue. He also layers on mediums and finally varnishes the surface to create a more firm appearance. Mr. Kim remains fascinated between the tensions of the mind and body. He is also intrigued by the concept of the permanence of tattoos as a vehicle for marking ones soul.
Mr. Kim says originally these works were created on a much larger scale, but the art viewers in Korea found them extremely disturbing. The artists says that now people are not as disturbed by his work.