Thursday, April 28, 2011

Press Release: Yong Joo Kim announces 2011 body of work

Providence, Rhode Island - April 28 2011 - Yong Joo Kim today announced her 2011 body of work titled Reconfiguring the Ordinary. The following is her personal statement summarizing her thoughts behind the new body of work.

In my previous body of work, I explored the value of mundane objects — such as beans, straws, pins, snaps, cable ties, Velcro and electric caps — and discovered their hidden beauty through a process of reconfiguration. Since I was used to working with precious metals and starting each project with a clear vision of what each piece should look like, exploring and experimenting with a variety of materials gave me a wholly different perspective on both my work and my working process.

After graduation, I was left with a limited set of tools and equipments. The limitation of resources made me search for a material that I could shape with my bare hands. The material I chose was pieces of grey and black Velcro. The Velcro attached and detached easily, making it highly conducive to stacking and piling. It was also possible to cut, roll, bend, and sew the Velcro using just hand tools. Its hooks had a sparkling quality, which I was attracted to as well.

For the past 2 years, I pushed the limitation of this one material to create hundreds of complex forms. During this time, I noticed that this kind of exploratory process takes on a form similar to that of the evolutionary process found in nature. More specifically, there is a process called artificial selection, which describes intentional breeding for certain traits, or a combination of traits, by human.

Within my working process, I use my judgment, aesthetic bias, and imagination to continuously choose and select specific traits of my chosen material to be further developed and accentuated. This becomes the foundational principle behind how new form develops in my work. The artificial selection is generally much faster than natural selection, and it has been fascinating to realize that even in a climate of such limited resources, infinite possibilities can be brought to fruition through this process.

2011 Yong Joo Kim

Interview with Milk X Hong Kong Magazine

A couple months ago, I had an interview with Milk X magazine. Milk X is a high fashion, lifestyle, art and design magazine published in Hong Kong. The April 2011 issue came out. A friend of mine sent it to me from Hong Kong! The only thing is that all of my interview has been translated into Chinese. So I had to ask my friend to figure out what the questions were. Anyway, I am so glad to have a copy of the magazine! Thank you, Sue!



Here is the original interview description in English.

Q. Please briefly introduce yourself, like your background and your subject
A. My name is Yong Joo Kim (金容柱 , hangul: 김용주). I am an artist and founder/owner of Sublime Experiment (
As an artist I work with objects we encounter everyday that often go unnoticed, such as beans, straws, cable ties, and Velcro. Through a process of co-evolution, I try to understand them for what they are, and work toward bringing out their true value.

Q. Is there any difference between your SS11 collection and previous collections? Any breakthrough?
A. I have been making continuous improvements to the way I handle my materials. In the latest collection I have begun to pay more attention to comfort. For example, I have been rounding the edges of my Velcro, which smoothes out the edges. This is especially important for bracelets that slide up and down your arm. After I started rounding the edges, I noticed the different kind of texture it creates when stacked. This was a nice surprise, and I was able to incorporate this new texture to come up with new designs.

Q. Is there anything you haven’t been able to do yet but would like to do?
A. So far my work is experienced as an object or a series of objects. I would now like to communicate and share the process that brought about these objects. I think of this process as being similar to natural evolution. Except that it is more focused (and faster as a result) because of human intervention. I’m interested in exploring this process itself. I hope to create a set of sculptural installations with this process as the concept. I wonder what the audience would feel as they experience such an installation. Would it be similar to that of an archeologist exploring underground caves that came about as part of a natural evolution? What would I learn from exploring this process? I don’t know. I am very curious.

Q. How do you work – from sketches etc. - or do you just start the crafting process?
A. I start from the crafting process. I find that working directly with materials is the best way to be surprised. This moment of surprise is important for me, because I am constantly trying to go beyond what I know, and what I am comfortable with. I find it hard to be surprised by my own sketches.

Q. Can you pick one as the Must Have Item in your SS11 collection?
A. I have recently made a new piece called “Mara Mejo”. They are earrings produced as part of my Sublime Experiment production line. It is a piece most people seem to have a comfortable time finding themselves in, regardless of age.

Q. Which design or project has given you the most satisfaction?
A. In school, I had to make 100 rings in one-week. The project not only got me warmed up, but also helped me learn what it means to have an open-mind. I felt transformed after the project.

Q. Who is your favorite designer?
A. Frank Lloyd Wright. I had a chance to visit his work, Fallingwater, near Pittsburgh in PA. Fallingwater was absolutely beautiful with the integration with the striking natural surroundings. The house is well-known for its connection to the site; it is built on top of an active waterfall which flows beneath the house. I still remember the sounds of nature. It is so vivid.

Q. Who/What inspire you most in the creative process?
A. The culture and the environment I’m in at the time is the biggest source of inspiration. When I was little, I was surrounded by all sorts of different rocks my dad collected from traveling to rivers and mountains. I also followed him on these excavations. You can visibly see how the aesthetics of these experiences is reflected in my work. In Providence, I was surrounded by trees filled with leaves in the summer, then left bare in the winter. You can visible see how these aesthetics are reflected in some of my work as well.

Thanks for reading!

* Guys, just so you know, English is my second language, so please bear with me if my grammar is weird! :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2011 Website in Progress

For the last two months, I have been working on updating my website with photographs of my new art work. Previously, I designed my website to be browsed in a horizontal way. However, my new images didn't work so well horizontally. Because the object shots were taken at different eye levels, horizontal browsing wasn't so smooth.

With my friend's suggestion, we printed out all the images and grouped them according to the eye levels at which they were shot, and placed them on a big white board. As we placed the images on the board,  we realized that the eye levels were changing from high to low. This gave us the idea for a vertical browsing design.
I still need to work on the transition between my new page and my previous pages. But I am done for now, so I wanted to share my thoughts with you all. Hope you all enjoy it. : )

Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Recontextualizing the Found Object" Exhibition

I have just received some images from the exhibition called "Recontextualizing the Found Object" at the Martha Gault Art Gallery, Slippery Rock University in PA.
It is so wonderful to see the installation images with other artists' work. I was pleased to have been a part of the show. Sean Macmillan who was the Juror and the director of the exhibition, wrote "The show was a profound success. We have received great feedback and had a tremendously high turnout." Also he will be able to compile the catalog of the show. That is awesome news! I will be looking forward to having the catalog with all the great pieces.

Here are some overview pictures of the installation space.

If you look closely, you can see my art work in the center of the image below. It is inside the vitrine next to the brownish piece.

It's so small. Here is the bigger version.

Here is the participating the artists for the show. 

Emily Watson, Columbus, OH                
Rob Jackson, Athens, GA            
Yong Joo Kim, Providence, RI
Amelia Toelke, Madison, WI               
Tara Philips, Toronto, Canada      
Lisa Johnson, Bloomington, IN
Wesley Harvey, San Antonio, TX           
Ray Ogar, Little Rock AR           
Ronald Gonzalez, Johnson City, NY
Melissa Cameron, Victoria, Australia     
Barbara Knuth, Seattle, WA         
John Whitfill, Lubbock, TX
Renee Zettle-Sterling, Cooperville, MI   
Robly Glover, Lubbock, TX          
Nicole Burns, Lindenwood, NJ
Laura Wood, Greenville, NC               
Chader McDonah, Tempe, AZ          
Abigail Heuss, Greenville, NC

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Green Tea

I bought this green tea for myself from the O'sulloc Tea Museum in JeJu Island while I was in Korea. You know, I am the only one who take care of my health. So while I was visiting the O'sulloc Tea Museum and watching the roasting process of green tea and tasted it, I felt like the green tea was the most wonderful tea and I had to buy and drink it to get healthy. How funny to have an excuse. : ) So, I brought it to the U.S. 
I got the impression that my tea would taste wonderful if I drank it out of this tea set. So I wish I could have the fabulous handmade ceramic tea set but the price of the tea set was about $500 while the green tea package was about $15. In addition, I was aware that I don't reallllly need them to drink the tea. Even though I kept the green tea here in the U.S, I didn't drink until yesterday. Because I was looking for the tea strainer. : )  
Why I feel like I need to buy something in order to do something? This kind of thoughts recollected my old memories. When I wanted to practice Yoga, I felt like I should buy the Yoga mat. When I wanted to jog, I felt like I should buy the running shoes. So I decided to look around what I have at my place and found these. My tea presentation looks not as good as the tea set. But the taste was so much better than I expected. It's funny to see how my feelings change depending on my attitude.

This is the green tea that I bought from the O'sulloc Tea Museum:
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This is my alternative tea strainer:
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These images were taken from the O'sulloc Tea Musem in Korea:
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These tea cups are from around 1500-2000 years ago:

This is the tea roasting process:

This tea set costs around $500.