Su Hyun Kim, Utopia oil on canvas 32x 32`2017
To start, tell us about yourself. What’s your background & how did you get into making art?
I have been making art since I was young. So I graduated From Ewha womans university Majoring in art in Seoul, Korea. Now, I paint my artworks in Art Residency Program called Cultural railroad 959.
I also teach painting to students in Goyang Art high school twice a week. It is located closely to the dividing line for the South and the North Korea. They revitalize and recall the subject of a work.
What are you currently working? Describe your most recent body of work.
My Artwork is oriented toward balance, order, judgment of relative values, law of growth, economy of life, etc. To visualize it, I painted Mandala as geometry. These day, I search for the reality beyond the surface of my subject.
Façade_oil on canvas_32x 32`_ 2017
Unstable welcome II_oil on canvas_ 63x51` _ 2015
Where do you find inspiration when starting a new body of work?
The theme of the work begins with the question of what life is. I think deeply into my spirit. I started out from my own, and extends tosomething broader in life, fort example, my family and country more and more. My problems will not be my own and it would have been somehow co-related with a social problem today.
Su hyun Kim
Do you work in distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?
I approach in three ways to my practice. Firstly, I paint momentary illusion images. They, then, look like a mandala and contemporary world. Secondly, I express a discourse of social analysis, history and relationship. Thirdly, I look for a new artworks that can reflect the rest of my soul. My artworks have been changed over time like growth novel.
Blue Tide_oil on canvas _44x57`_ 2015
Describe a day in your studio. What is your schedule like, how do you divide your time?
I paint my art pieces mainly with oil. To be a bit more speedy with my art piece progression, I set the date of exhibition. I check email from galleries and agents. I like Sociology, Architect, Meditation and Fashion. I explore the theme of these, I also exercise regularly to relieve pain in my shoulders.
Su hyun Kim at work
Su hyun Kim's studio
Su hyun Kim's studio
Has your practice been influenced by technological changes/advances either online or through social media?
Yes, I have.
Given our current cultural climate, the importance of artists is undeniable, we need them now more than ever. Do you find the social responsibility intimidating at all or does this help fuel your work?
It helps fuel my artworks. Art, metaphorically, shows the social values and the changes in basic of it. There will be more artists with different view of the world. Current society is increasingly demanding for diversity. But we are all connected.
What are some of the challenges you have experienced in your practice?
Challenges happen throughout the day. If my pieces have no place to be exhibited, I get be disappointed and stress. Also, if I had to work all day, there would be no time to paint. If I have no inventive ideas with how I should paint or the choice of colours, I become discouraged.
Your Excellency the President_oil on canvas_44x57`_2017
What are some of the most rewarding aspects of art making?
One of the most rewarding aspects of art making is, for me, a pray and road map to answer for any questions arising in my life. To solve my life’s problems, I draw what I want to be, look for a purpose in it. I draw a picture of the mindset I want to have. Then, it is there for me.
What is one art related book and non-art related book that you recommend other artists read?
Robert Henri , Alexander McQueen
Where do you go to discover new artists?
I hang around art galleries and travel abroad. I also tend to encounter many artists in books and on the internet. I participated many group art exhibition as an artist. In there, I met some good artists and talked with them.
Unstable welcome III _ oil on canvas _ 51x63`_ 2015
How did you get your first exhibition?
I applied to art competition in Sooho Gallery. That is how I ended up with making my first exhibition possible. I was bought my paintings.
What methods do you find most productive in promoting your work?
The most important thing is to have best quality artworks to find the jewels that come from the soul.
After that, I find a suitable gallery, art show and competition and show them on the internet.
Su hyun Kim, Pink tide, 2016, oil on canvas, 162 x 110 cm
What advice would you give to your younger self? How about to other artists? Are there lessons you have learned through your commitment to your practice which you think might be of value to others?
Focus on your soul. Feel empathy and share your feelings. Choose topics to study throughout your life. Books will help you. Work with advanced materials. Health is the most important power to cheer you up.
Su Hyun Kim is an artist based in Seoul, Republic of Korea. She was recently shortlisted for The Hopper Prize. To learn more about the artist: