Interview: Annie Amelyte Kim
Luca Curci talks with Annie Amelyte Kim during BARCELONA CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR 2021 at Valid World Hall Gallery.
“Art is a form of person’s identity.” With a BFA degree in illustration at SVA, Annie Amelyte Kim is currently focusing on making sculptures out of plexiglass, paper, and wood. The design is based on ancient Korean subject matter, which represents her ethnicity. As people desire to learn and discover the latest updates, facts, and techniques while holding onto earlier records as resources, Annie Amelyte Kim adapts the idea of society being balanced between liberal and conservative. As a depiction of her background, she uses plexiglass to reveal the new generation and takes Korean traditional objects as references, experimenting on abstract and conventional shapes for small decorative elements. The light reflected by mirrored areas create smudged figuration on the floor or on the walls, portraying of how history and current events are full of mystery and sometimes far from the truth.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Annie Amelyte Kim – Art is every process of starting from contemplation to execution.
LC – What’s your background?
AAK – I come from a pretty artsy family and my parents have been very supportive ever since they noticed my enthusiasm for drawing at age two. Spending my early childhood in New Jersey attending classes of oil painting, ceramic, and arts & crafts in a nature-filled suburb is where I believe my creativity has developed the most. As I hit the age of nine, I happened to move to Korea. I started to go to a quite serious art academy during 4th grade until I graduated elementary school. Though I was skipping a quarter of 6th grade to practice drawing still lives and watercolor techniques for fourteen hours a day, I was still the least talented one according to their aspects. I moved to California after getting rejected by the junior high specializing in arts. Focusing on receiving the passing grades, I wasn’t able to do art intensely as before. But somehow, by the time I reached 11th grade, my skills have skyrocketed suddenly. In order to major in illustration at the School of Visual Arts, I moved to New York. The place where I’m still pursuing my dream!
LC – What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
AAK – I cannot sum it up in a single source. This is about utilizing the accumulated cognitions and introspections over at least the entire college years. All the helpful advice from professors, friends, and classmates I’ve taken has guided me to where I’m now. However, picking only three traits out of all, visiting galleries and artist’s studios let me gather a sense of the art industry. The concept received as Tomokazu Matsuyama’s assignment provided me to excogitate about myself as an individual and my origin. Last but not least, the American contemporary artist Michael Velliquette’s earlier paper sculptures dramatically influenced me visually.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
AAK – As I’m working on the concept of Korean American, I constantly explore everything that has to do with ancient Korea, Joseon, hoping to find something that’ll keep me intrigued. Sometimes ideas appear out of nowhere, even the times I least expect them, but I rarely rely on these to happen. I approach myself to feel gratitude toward my surroundings, which allows me to invent new creations from previous existences.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
AAK – Aside from dealing with self-criticism, absolute freedom! It has never been less restricted to spread your statements. It is way easier to connect with your community and infinite opportunities are all over the place thanks to the Internet.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
AAK – I’ve never had a style, but I always enjoyed arranging color schemes and symmetrical designs. I was obsessed with surrealism during high school. However, I was semi-forced to study other cultural movements, including contemporary arts, due to art history and other valuable college courses. A wide range of art allowed me to experiment with various techniques by observing the masterpieces. Cubism deeply inspired me, but then I was infatuated with Hermes scarf designs. By the time I reached 3rd year in college, I was fascinated by paper pop-ups. And I end up making abstract sculptures since the end of my senior year.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
AAK – It aligns perfectly with our reality caught in between the harmony of artificial and organic matter. It is such an enormous theme that can be expressed in a variety of directions. Looking at all the participated pieces online, I was very impressed by how far the presentations about their definition for the concept could go. The first and second editions extended my analysis to the topic.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
AAK – My wall hanging sculptures are combined characteristics of the current generation and ancestry resources. It is mainly a depiction of Korean American. I am making an abstract wall decor out of plexiglass based on designs of Korean traditional objects, legends, and beliefs. I see the subject matter itself already reveals the relevance to both mixing identities and future landscape.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
AAK – Definitely! There are many talented artists severely doubting and underestimating their potentials and values. Such delightful events will encourage them to move forward fearlessly. It’ll bring a sense of validation looking at their artworks exhibiting with other emerging artists’ works, for it feels we’re all in this journey together!
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
AAK – Of course! I highly doubt there is anyone who wasn’t grateful to be part of this enticing event. I am very likely to apply next year, make new artistic friends and enjoy the show being present in the moment. Sadly, I wasn’t able to visit the venue this time but I still felt the vibrant energy coming all the way to the USA.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
AAK – I find it very helpful for people interested in art and those who want to catch up with pertinent information. The website is neat and organized. It makes it easy to browse around selecting articles I’m interested in reading.