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Interview with artist Jisook Kim

Artist Jisook Kim was born1981, Incheon, South Korea. She received her B.F.A. and M.F.A. in Sculpture from Sungshin Women’s University in South Korea.

After moving to the United States, she completed residency programs at ARPNY and 4heads Artist in Residence Program. Kim has had solo shows in the U.S.A. and abroad including Gallery Sensei (New York, 2017), New York Minded (New York, 2016), Gallery A (Busan, 2016), Nabi Museum of the Arts (New Jersey, 2015), Kwanhoon Gallery (Seoul, 2008), She was selected for Diamond District Windows by ChaShaMa (2018), The Governors Island Art Fair (2018), Korean Cultural Center New York, Jersey City Hall, A.I.R Gallery, NARS Foundation, among many others.

Jisook Kim at Fou Gallery, photograph by Nadia Peichao Lin ©Jisook Kim, courtesy Fou Gallery

In her work, Jisook Kim represents the delicate coexistence of life, energy, and time with a marbling technique that embeds variating drawn lines throughout her multidimensional installations.

The simplified abstract patterns embody the energy of nature in an artificial yet organic shape, signifying an ambiguous state of existence that blurs the boundaries between reality and imagination, of human life and the cosmos.

Fou Gallery

China-Underground: As a sculptress, the direct relationship with matter is a primary element for the realization of your artwork. Can you tell us about this connection? How did you discover your passion?

Jisook Kim: My works reflect my interest in time and energy. I consider them to accrue rather than to flow in a linear line. To visualize accumulated time and energy, I use the marbling technique on paper. Each line and its distance in between created by the marbling print represents the stream of time and space. This could be expressed as drawings but also installations to accentuate the volume of its amassment.

Installation view of Jisook Kim & Hilda Shen: Orogenies, photograph by Nadia Peichao Lin ©Hilda Shen and Jisook Kim, courtesy Fou Gallery

How did your artworks for this exhibition come about?

Curator Tansy Xiao introduced me to the director, Echo He. They suggested me to open a duo show with Hilda.

Jisook Kim, Built Emotions, 2017. Wire, ink on Hanji paper, 90 x 38 x 13 inches ©Jisook Kim, courtesy Fou Gallery

Can you tell us what materials you used for the realization of your artworks and why?

I have been using Hanji, Korean traditional handmade paper as one of the primary materials for my drawings and sculptural works since 2016. Hanji breathes with the environment and has a soft texture but it is also known for its durability. These qualities of Hanji not only make it a great material to create my installation works but it also goes along with my concepts.

Installation view of Jisook Kim & Hilda Shen: Orogenies, photograph by Nadia Peichao Lin ©Hilda Shen and Jisook Kim, courtesy Fou Gallery

Is there a message that you would like to be perceived by those who enjoy the exhibition?

I appreciate it when the viewers enjoy my works with their interpretations. I believe that creating connections with viewers through artwork is important. I hope that my works can stimulate conversations among the viewers and I hope to hear their various opinions about them.

Can you share with us some memories related to an experience in the mountains that contributed to the creation of one of your artwork?

If I have to talk about specific memories in the mountains, then it will be the ones in Korea. The mountains in Korea are not high but covers up 70% of the country. Its landscape with steep rocks and pine trees creates its mystic and reverent atmosphere. My work talks about human life and its harmonization with accumulated nature energy and my experience with the mountains in Korea has inspired my work.

Installation view of Jisook Kim & Hilda Shen: Orogenies, photograph by Nadia Peichao Lin ©Hilda Shen and Jisook Kim, courtesy Fou Gallery

How do you think the relationship between nature and human beings has changed in the period of increasing global urbanization and increasing the use of technology?

We are part of nature, thus parting our lives with it is impossible. We have changed nature as we please for our convenience and we are already experiencing significant influence in our lives because of this. Increasing global urbanization and the use of technology have brought natural destruction but I hope that we will find a way where technology will prosper alongside nature.

Installation view of Jisook Kim & Hilda Shen: Orogenies, photograph by Nadia Peichao Lin ©Hilda Shen and Jisook Kim, courtesy Fou Gallery

Nature and art contribute to overcoming cultural differences. What are the main benefits?

Nature and art may be able to bring a bond of sympathy to a certain level but it will take a lot more to overcome cultural differences. I think the role of nature and art together is rather to stimulate conversation to create a higher level of connection and understanding of otherness.

Jisook Kim, Memory of Emotions II, 2017. Ink, pencil, acrylic on paper, 24 x 18 inches ©Jisook Kim, courtesy of Fou Gallery

Thanks to Fou Gallery & Jisook Kim

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