Interviews | November 23, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of So Youn Kim

Interview: So Youn Kim
Luca Curci talks with So You Kim during the 17th Edition of VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.

So Youn enjoys practising abstract paintings in the style of what she calls postmodern contemporary abstract expressionism with an emphasis on intellect from her education and creativity from her talent. So Youn remembers her childhood when her mother took her to the Picasso special exhibition in Seoul, Korea. So Youn has enjoyed her multicultural, academic and creative journey in Canada since she was 14 and likes to ask thought-provoking questions in intellectual conversation.

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Image courtesy of So Youn Kim

Luca Curci – What is art for you?
So Youn Kim – Art is synthesis. My artwork is made through a creative process that synthesizes visual inspirations, imaginations, use of various colors and mediums such as acrylic colors, oil pastels and collages of newspaper or fabrics for quality and materiality as well as a glimpse of my philosophy of art through qualitative analysis and descriptions of the artwork onset through the textual attempts to understand my work with social scientific and anthropological lenses. As such, the mentality, sensuality and materiality all synthesize into art forms and figures as well as representation.

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Image courtesy of So Youn Kim

LC – Which artists have somehow had an influence on your work?
SYK – First Picasso for his impactful inspiration in cosmopolitan feeling from the inspiration of Cubism from Africa. My mother took me to Picasso special exhibition in Seoul, Korea when I was young: I still remember the visual inspiration I got from his work. Second Matisse for his subverted boundaries between spaces and lines and dimensions with appealing colors. I studied him in my AP art class in my high school studio, Trinity College School in Canada. Third, Magritte for his thinking through idiosyncratic matches of objects in his work or the titles that make the audience wonder: the exhibition in the Seoul Museum of Art was memorable for making me think of art as a thinking process. Fourth, Basquiat for his style of what I call garbage beauty: the unsophisticatedness creating sophistication through self-taught style. Fifth, I a philosopher Foucault for the importance of discourse and culture that underpins my philosophy of art for describing the work I made through textual descriptions. Sixth, a philosopher Marcus Aurelius from the stoicism that always helps me organize my mind, from the book Meditations. Seventh, the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson for his transcendentalism for his innovative thinking about success and positive and inspirational mindset and lifestyle.

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Image courtesy of So Youn Kim

LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
SYK – Through use of large canvas paintings for professional art practices, I escaped from the ease of using easily storable manila paper paintings towards something I could exhibit in the gallery. Honestly, the medium of a large canvas is to better present my artwork to the audience; I am happy to work with any medium. For example, in my highs school studio, I used to do oil paintings; but I prefer Acrylic for the convenience and practicality now.

LC – How is your creative process?
SYK – I am inspired by the three philosophers’ dense texts to think of the visual representation and convey my energy and feeling. I think of colors, and mediums roughly and start to work on the canvas with layers of colors, oil pastels, collages of newspapers, and sometimes fabrics. I keep making layers spontaneously until I am confident about the way it is painted and finished. The process is indeed very quick and improvised rather than planned. Honestly, I am annoyed by explaining to the people as in art class that I chose this size of canvas over that one because… Art is not created like that. It is all about intuitive process rather than explaining every step in a logical way. This is why I prefer continuing my style and then writing up the inspiration from my social scientific understanding of the work. This is my style. I know it is a unique approach. 

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Image courtesy of So Youn Kim

LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
SYK – Happy. But I can easily move on to the next painting. It is like playing.

LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
SYK – Venice is one of the best places for art historically in my honesty. The nature of the international exhibition welcomes visitors from all over the place to appreciate the different cultural manifestations and inspirations about Venice from different perspectives as well as Italian tradition’s wonderful art that I really would like to learn and see. The place of Venice in Italy is inspiring enough for me to exhibit my work here: it is an honour for me.

LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
SYK – Contemporary art interposes the tradition of Venice in a historically marvelous place for art as well as cosmopolitan sophistication from the culture of innovation and creativity from emerging artists together, creating an interesting scene of respected old and innovative new feelings.

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Image courtesy of So Youn Kim

LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
SYK – ITSLIQUID GROUP is a very approachable and professional groups of people who have a sincere passion for art, such as art, fashion, architecture and so forth. I like that the group is extremely dedicated to artistic serenity and those who practice art with passion as well as those who appreciate art. They take art very seriously with professionalism and this is the reason I like each of the staff I have contacted as well as opportunity possible for me.

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Image courtesy of So Youn Kim

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us? 
SYK – I enjoyed every interaction with every member of the group: dedicated, professional groups of people who work for art because they love art and are passionate about it. It is best to work with people who love art in their art.

LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
SYK – ITSLIQUID Platform is very accessible with interesting content that grab the attention of art lovers and appreciators. I also like their aggressive marketing as well!

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Image courtesy of So Youn Kim
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Image courtesy of So Youn Kim

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