Five Minutes with Minju Kim
Minju Kim dives into her creative process and discusses how her journey in art began
What inspires you to create art?
Many of my works are the result of a long observation of my body. One of the big issues I have is a sort of rheumatism, that has been changing my body shape, such as legs, feet and hands. As medical examination has become my daily life since I was very young, it was natural for me to be drawn to the distortion of the human body. This is why I started using my body as my own reference when I paint. Also I discovered the theme ‘desire’ by reading a Freud and Lacan’s book when I was a late teenager and then developed the idea further and extended this concept to my art; ‘all things stem from desire and it varies depending on how the person’s desire appears’.
All of my personal journeys lead me to observe myself more. Art was the most suitable surface to project what or how I feel, this journey helps me continue to develop and learn.
What is your creative process?
I am focused on certain issues and elements of human body; often the elements that only the female can have. My creative process entails studying the female body and anatomy and trying to express the shape of the body internally and externally, mixed with an abstract and realistic way at the same time.
What has been your favourite or most memorable art sale?
One of my works from Mechanical Flesh series. The series is the result of my own views on human anatomy and recreating a human figure into a new species in certain patterns. The collector who bought this came to my solo show in London, 2018 and later on, he claimed the artwork to be his. The sale of this piece was akin to sharing a piece of myself.
How has your arts business/career changed over the past 6 months?
It’s been over 6 month since we encountered ‘the new normal’ way of life, I thought this is the perfect time to reinforce my artwork. I spent many hours practicing new and old skills for my painting and sculpture, creating as many artworks as possible. Since there weren’t many opportunities for physical exhibitions over the past months, I’ve tried to show more of my work in a digital way.
What piece of advice would you give an artist starting their career?
Be free and disciplined at the same time, being an artist is a constant battle of yourself and the world.
It’s a long journey that you must enjoy.
‘My work represents a cross-section in my own life between a very personal journey of the body, life and death and a deeper understanding of my work in terms of style and subject matter. I get to express myself in the form of art, what I’ve learnt and experienced and showing them to the world is a feeling like no other’
Finally, what is the most rewarding part of being an artist?
My work represents a cross-section in my own life between a very personal journey of the body, life, death, and a deeper understanding of my work in terms of style and subject matter. I get to express myself in the form of art, what I’ve learned and experienced, and showing them to the world is a feeling like no other.