Kim Beom / South Korea b.1963 / Residential Watchtower Complex for Security Guards (Perspective) 2016 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 36 x 51cm / Purchased 2017. Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © The artist

Kim Beom
Residential Watchtower Complex for Security Guards 2016

Not Currently on Display

The artist’s work in APT9 is from ‘Blueprints and Perspectives’, a series of satirical drawings depicting imaginary structures. The works typically consist of a lavishly rendered architect’s drawing accompanied by a schematic blueprint. The structures include a school that offers lessons in defying gravity, a spy ship disguised as a cloud, and a bat-shaped safe house for tyrants, complete with an escape pod. As with the best satire, these humorous works are underpinned by serious concerns and social frustrations.

Kim has described the works as metaphors for society, and they are based on the absurdity, inhumanity, arbitrariness and contradiction that he has experienced in his own life. The matter-of-factness of Kim’s blueprints reflects the depersonalisation and machine-like logic of our contemporary world.

Kim Beom is part of the generation of South Korean artists whose adult life has coincided with their country’s transition to democracy. For an artist whose work is so strongly influenced by conceptualism, he is proficient in a number of different techniques, including drawing, ceramics, installation, performance, as well as publishing.

Kim Beom uses humour to explore how we understand the world. His ‘Blueprints and Perspectives’ series depicts a wide range of imaginary machines, vessels and structures. The works are made up of a pair of artworks — a detailed drawing and a blueprint.


Play a game based on what you think you see and what you actually see. Work in pairs: one person should describe an object without naming or identifying it, while the other draws it based only on the description. Give the drawing a title based on the object’s description.

During your visit to APT9

What are you reminded of when you look at Kim Beom’s artworks?
Look closely at the keys in the blueprints. What surprises can you find in the blueprints that are not in the drawings?
How could you use these blueprints and drawings to invent your own way of seeing?


  • with Qiu Zhijie’s artwork. How do both artists change the way maps and blueprints usually deliver information?
  • with Souliya Phoumivong’s animation. How do both artists use humour to communicate a more serious message?


Combine drawings, symbols and text in a diagram to explain something from your imagination — it should be something that makes no sense, or something you have trouble understanding.

Contemporary context

How does Kim Beom:

  • employ imagery and/or display techniques to challenge aesthetic traditions?
  • provoke discussion about twenty-first-century issues and concerns?

Personal context

How does Kim Beom:

  • generate ideas from her own experiences, imagination or memories?
  • connect with the viewers’ experiences and/or expectations to construct meaning?

Cultural context

How does Kim Beom:

  • reflect community interests through social commentary?

Formal context

How does Kim Beom:

  • employ specific art elements and principles to communicate meaning?
  • communicate intentions using symbols, motifs or signs?
  • enhance the interpretation of the artwork through processes, materials and media?
  • share characteristics with art movements, times, places or events?