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Puzzling Out - An Analysis for the Iconographical/Iconological Understanding of Kim, Ki-duk's Films -

김소연 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Until now, Kim, Ki-duk’s films have attracted international attentions to their sensational and violent aspects as well as to their pictorial images. Nonetheless, those pictorial images have been hardly analyzed with synthetic and systematic approaches. I tried to enlighten that so-called "the Kim, Ki-duk system" has been constructed based on a delicate and discreet semanticmapping of iconic images, by applying the methodology of Erwin Panofsky’s iconographical analysis. Even though the iconographical images in Kim, Ki-duk’s films seem randomly intertwined in a complex and incidental way, they can be categorized into three groups: colors, natural materials and animals. The three groups have their own subcategories which appear in many of his films repetitively: blue, red, white and black; soil, metal, water and air tortoise, snake, fish, bird, butterfly and human. What these icons signify is based on the contexts where they are located, in short, in a dialectic way. For example, the image of water, which has been indicated as the most important image in Kim’s films, can be contained in a fish tank or can flow freely to a river or an ocean the image of metal can become a handcuff or a birdcage or can become a mobile means of transportation like a motorbike or an airplane. In addition, it is necessary to note the way Kim’s films privilege human heads and hands as the representations of human beings and the relationship between them. Thanks to the iconographical analysis, the notorious ambiguity of Kim’s films can be cleared and spectators can realize how determined the will-to-be liberated in Kim, Ki-duk system is.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.