October 11, 2016


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Miss Kim From Seoul
Artist, Seoul

Known as the idol in the world of Korean painting, the artist Kim Hyun Jung surely has captured people’s attention by introducing new genre in K-art. The 10th solo exhibition that was held in Korea was remarkable and exceptional in terms of popularity, with the number of visitors reaching almost 70 thousands in total. The secret behind this is not only related to her techniques and style, but to her personal yet common stories in and outside the artworks that the young generation can relate to.

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My ideal working outfit looks like…
I enjoy wearing pretty clothes. As I spend more than half of the time in my studio every day, I feel like it is a waste to keep beautiful clothes in the closet all the time worrying that the ink will splash. When I happen to go out with ink-stained clothes, I just be overly chatty and say “I have been drawing you know” to my friends.

Heels or flats… Which brand or style
I often wear high heels because I have a complex about being short and want to be taller even a little bit. I prefer pumps which are comfortable with sturdy front and back heels.

The reason why you wear and draw Korean traditional clothes Han Bok is…
Han Bok is Korean traditional clothes that are worn in the formal situation. People do not wear it in our everyday life anymore. So through the contrast of wearing classical clothes and behaving ordinarily and naturally, I can effectively deliver the sense of subject ‘coyness’. The contrast between ‘formality’ and ‘daily life’ become a medium to be compared with ‘coyness’ which is the contract of human’s inside and outside.
Han Bok has high concealing quality as it has many layers and the dress is long and wide, but by drawing a subject who acts transparently even with Han Bok on, I aim to dramatically induce audiences’ mentality by letting them to see through the subject’s coyness. The more you hide, the funnier it is to guess out what one is thinking at the bottom. Although this functional reason is big, the fact that I personally admire Han Bok’s lines, colors, patterns, and accessories also be-came a significant reason why I chose to wear and draw Han Bok.

보름달처럼 즐겁고 풍성한 추석 보내시길 바랍니다.

A post shared by 한국화가 김현정 일상계정 (@hyunjung_artist) on

My favorite art-related blog/app is…
Pinterest. Google provides enormous images that even a term ‘googling’ was created, but as there are too much information available, it often together provides unnecessary images. In contrast ‘pinterest’ shows most appropriate and accurate images based on the key words, so it was more satisfactory. Also since there are more materials from abroad than from Korea, I feel like I am travelling when I am looking at those images, which makes me happier.

What motivates you to actively engage in Social Media?
By managing Facebook and blog by myself, I could better communicate with audience which before it was only possible through exhibitions. More recently I am trying to make the communication both sided by using messenger and SNS. I could actually meet more people through internet and get unexpected ideas from the conversation. It now became part of my work.

The last thing I bought and loved was…
It would be a life Han Bok that I purchased from Ccomaque. Full flowing skirt and simpler life Han Bok is made to comfortably wear during daily life, so I wear a lot in my ordinary days. I especially wear more often during summer, as the traditional ones look much better with many layers and thus not suitable for summer. So I often wear modernized Han Bok which is made of light materials and is transformed to a modern design to allow it to be both comfortable and beautiful.

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Most ridiculous thing I ever bought…
I instead have ridiculous experience after purchasing. It was a traditional Korean paper made with traditional process by a master artisan, which was very expensive. The paper was ripped off once I opened the paper to draw, so I had to throw away even before using it properly.

My necessary extravagance is…
I put a lot of attention to Han Bok accessories to wear beautifully with Han Bok. Among those my necessary extravagance would be flower shoes from artisan. Not long ago the artisan passed away, so the flower shoes I have now was the last work by him. Now the shoes became a priceless treasure.

Three things/products I always need to have in my purse…
Sketchbook, Ipad, and mirror.
Sketchbook is a necessity to all artists. When I have sudden ideas or have a quote that I want to remember, I record it in my book.
Secondly, it is Ipad. I come across circumstances where I need to introduce my work and portfolio to other people. It is an efficient item that allows me to store information that cannot even be covered in a thick book and carry around easily. Also I can move the ideas that I jotted down in my sketchbook easily to change it to digital work.
Lastly, mirror. As my work is to express human figure, I have a habit of observing figure’s facial expression and muscles based on the movement. I think it is a habit caused from my desire to draw figures better. When I am with other people I can observe them, but when I am alone I observe myself by making different faces.

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My ultimate beauty secret after long working hours…
My beauty secret is facial mask. Staying all day in studio makes my face dry quickly. I tried a lot of cosmetic products and folk remedies, but there was nothing good as a facial mask. My loving facial mask and ‘PandaKorea’ once collaborated and produced mask package <Coyness: same bed, different dreams>.

My favourite merge of the art- and fashion world…
The work from Takashi Murakami and Louis Vuitton. Usually the most difficult part of a collaboration is to bring out beauty while balancing with each other. But for this collaboration the artist’s color was clearly expressed while keeping the company’s identity. Also it was not just a simple merge, but a merge that also positively influenced the sales of the company.

My most admired art world influencer…
I would like to pick director Bartomeu Mari Ribas from National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA). He is a reputable director who worked as a curator of Spain Pavilion in Venice Biennale and worked under Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona from 2008 to 2015 as Director.

In the art world currently I find most exciting that…
I was most excited in my solo exhibition ‘Coyness Theme Park’ which happened this year in March and April. The exhibition recorded daily visit of 5,026 and total visit of 67,402. As it was a big exhibition which use four floors of whole building, the preparation time was long and my worries and concerns were big. But due to people’s love and attention I could make such a big achievement during the one month. Even by recalling the memories makes my heart beat faster.

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Art makes me…
Complete. Makes me Breathe.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
I am often inspired from daily life. ‘Coyness’ also can be called as 21st century genre painting which is based on my daily life. Among all SNS is a great method to look through the daily life of young generation. I sometimes get work materials from interesting stories that are on Instagram or Facebook.

The most arty city is…
I feel like Seoul which the past and the present exist together is the most artistic city in the world. Especially Bukchon Hanok Village and Gyeong Bok Gung Palace that are located between tall buildings touch my heart.

The perfect art-world gentlemen is…
My idol Do Ho Suh. The Artist Suh expresses difficult topics such as ‘Home within Home’ and ‘Karma’ in familiar and witty way while showing excellent techniques. Also I admire him as he became internationally influential by recreating Korean traditional forms. He sometimes use fabric of Han Bok to express Korean style house, which I think it will be interesting if a subject that I drew is doing something inside the house with Han Bok on.

Artist(s) we should have on our watchlist is/are…
Kim Hyun Jung? I am always working hard so please keep an eye on me!

 

Photos from the artist

Instagram: @hyunjung_artist