Interview: Heejoo Gwen Kim | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Heejoo Gwen Kim

Interviews | March 23, 2019 |

Interview: Heejoo Gwen KimImage courtesy of Heejoo Gwen Kim

Interview: Heejoo Gwen Kim
Luca Curci talks with Heejoo Gwen Kim during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2018 at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.

Heejoo Gwen Kim works as an experimental/documentary filmmaker and new media artist, currently creating projects focusing on social issues, such as microaggressions, feminism, elder abuse, and psychology in experimental narrative film structures, and Virtual Reality immersive experience. Her films and installations have been internationally presented at festivals, conferences, and galleries and throughout the United States. Her films have received awards including Best Animation, Best Experimental Film, and Best of Show at several international film festivals and conferences. She had been a director, a curator, a coordinator, an adjudicator for International Animation + New Media Art festivals, conferences, and shows. She is currently teaching at University of Connecticut as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Digital Media Design.

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Interview: Heejoo Gwen KimImage courtesy of Heejoo Gwen Kim

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Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Heejoo Gwen Kim – Everyday encounters spark questions and lead to powerful and vivid imaginations, yet crash against the solidity and conventionality of the physical and social world. My practice as an artist begins from the craving to overcome this restrictive reality through virtual media and technology. The simulated domain is one of the best ways to emancipate our limited conceptual and physical environment with boundless possibilities.

LC – Which subject are you working on?
HGK – My current and ongoing research explores the topic of underrepresented groups in society such as women, minority, elders, and disabled people. These projects blend painting and drawing with documentary film approaches and promote awareness of hidden problems in society.

LC – Which is the role the artist plays in the society? And the contemporary art?
HGK – Through my research, I will continue investigating emerging adaptable technologies and addressing various contemporary social and cultural issues. Conceptually, I will continue to explore hidden social and cultural concerns through these emerging media technologies, with the goal of evoking thought in my viewers to reconsider their previous notions about these topics and the technology itself.

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Interview: Heejoo Gwen KimImage courtesy of Heejoo Gwen Kim

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LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
HGK – The clothing of Alexander McQueen and Iris Van Herpen inspired one of my films, “Unwearable Functional: Akinetic Mutism.” The intention of empowering women wearing McQueen’s and Van Herpen’s garments, through their expression of identity, combined with subtle manipulations of desire, mood, and cultural setting, stimulated the concept of this film. My film explores sculpted abstract surfaces, visualizing unseen relationships and their poignancy: between skin and garments, between one body and another, between gravity and weightlessness.

LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
HGK – Most of my works in the digital realm is experimental. However, while I always aim to expand my audience, the nature of my works pose as challenges to me as an experimental filmmaker and artist.

LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
HGK – My films are presented in festivals and gallery exhibitions internationally.

LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
HGK – ITSLIQUID being a hub of contemporary art, architecture, and design and connecting different cities is progressive. The concept of fluidity, motion, connection, and accessibility is not only intuitively radical, but also leading edge. The themes of the festival are synergetic and its multi-crossed approach is appreciated.

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Interview: Heejoo Gwen KimImage courtesy of Heejoo Gwen Kim

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