Hye Jin Kim's 9th Solo Exhibition
WHAT IS ART TO YOU?
Art is something I've done my whole life by going to art school, being part of art clubs, and working as a designer. It's about being myself as an artist. I majored in industrial design for undergrad studies but double majored in pottery, because I really liked making stuff with my hands. I had this thirst about drawing since working and after taking on a career as an actress in my 30s I got to believe that I won't be able to do any art at all if I just forget about it. So I started drawing, and it just kept flowing out. It's been five years since I've continuously been doing art. I've done more than 100 exhibition shows and won some awards too. This 'Who Am I' show will be my 9th solo exhibition show.
Working as an actress, there are times when I have to cover myself up. But once I start doing art which comes from my own mind, I get to see my inner self on a deeper level and also encounter my hurts and wounds. I taught myself to suck it up and never cry first so I thought I was never hurt. But once I started bringing out stuff as an artist the pain was real. But transforming the hurts and loss into art heals the pain. I've come to understand that I should let go the perfectionist part of me, and stop the self-torture.
TELL US ABOUT THE MOTHER LOVE & BIRTH FLOWER SERIES
The 'Mother Love' series was a time of self-healing and affection. I wanted to hear compliments all the time at a young age, which meant hard work and solid outcomes. I thought that part of me came from my strong feminist side but felt sorry for myself once I've noticed it came from the lack of love I've received from my family. I comforted my past by making art.
Afterwards, the healing process continued by re-creating past memories and being enlightened at the nobility of life. Through the 'Birth Flower' series, I talk how I'm a special person, not someone worthless. The previous series were in a story-telling format, and people were healed through my expressions of art, taking them as special too.
THIS TIME WITH 'WHO AM I' YOU TALK ABOUT SELF IDENTITY, WHY SO?
Now that I've grown, I'm finding my identity. During the past works I've been healed so much and that led to questioning myself about who I really am. Starting from the women statue that's me, the lines connected represent my network. I'm describing myself in relationships as a mother and child, daily life, work, family. So I used 'my color' as a 'camouflage'. The color on top of the background is layered to protect it in the same shades. The subtle harmony of colors portray the relationships with people.
I've also tried an arrangement this time. I used to paint in traditional painting styles so people won't think of it as a design sort. But now I've arranged dots, lines, sides to differentiate it.
ANY BEHIND STORIES DURING THE PROCESS FOR THIS SHOW?
I like rocks so I use them a lot in my work. I don't wear gloves while carving and breaking the stones because I don't want to miss the meticulous senses of creating it and I had to bleed myself a lot because sometimes the rock powders would get stuck all over my hands.
WHAT'S THE REACTION FROM EVERYONE ELSE ABOUT THIS SHOW?
A lot of my people believe in my art and tell me to show everything that's new, that I can do well. Yohan Choi, the director who worked with me for my first solo exhibition said, "You don't have a limit on anything, don't you?" after watching my first show.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS?
I'll be participating in exhibitions until the end of this year. I'm working on a group exhibition in October that will take place at the Art Center and will submit for the KIAF this year. I just want to work for a long time as an artist.
Translated by_ Gen_E