Jungsan Senim is a South Korean artist, monk, and chef of an international temple vegetarian restaurant in Seoul.
Born in 1946, self taught artist, Jungsan discovered a visual language to express his spiritual practices late in his life. Originally Kim Yun-Sik, he became a monk at the age of 15 and later was ordained as Jungsan Senim; Jungsan meaning “quiet mountain” and Senim meaning “monk”.
As a monk, he pulls great meaning from Buddhist teachings and his natural surroundings to create works with the use of common materials such as match boxes and razor blades in addition to his performance art practice. Jungsan is also a jazz pianist and his work is often motivated by the rhythmic nature of music. His work has been shown in South Korea, France, and the US. Sandra Lee Gallery introduced his work to the US two years ago; since then he has gained tremendous fame and many collectors from California to New York.
One of his masterpieces, Gustave Mahlor Symphony No. 2, a sculpture made of razor blades, was inspired by the titled composer’s symphony 9 and 2 which tells the tale of resurrection, from death to life, which is deeply connected to Buddhist concept. Jungsan uses the razor blades as a way to express the dichotomy of danger and beauty. The small nuance of the work is that the viewer is able to see their self reflected in the metal blades as a mirror.