Veer: Sign of Life

virtual exhibition

Apr 8 (Fri) – May 29 (Sun)

I make art motivated by the pressure and weight I feel to take personal responsibility for my survival as an artist.

By sublimating the pressure and weight I feel from mere emotion into a visible method of fabrication, I wish to share how beautiful and valuable human manifestation of ‘responsibility-taking’ can be.”

- Artist Yong Joo Kim

Opens April 8th 2022

Meet the Artist

To meet the artist in person, please visit KIAF Seoul taking place in Seoul between Sep 7th and 10th.

kiaf seoul 

COEX 1F, Hall A&B, Grand Ballroom
513, Yeongdong-daero
Seoul, Korea
Sep 7 (Thu) 1 pm – 7:30pm
Sep 8 (Thu) 11 am – 7:30pm
Sep 9 (Fri) 11 am – 7:30pm
Sep 10 (Sat) 11 am – 5pm

About the Virtual Exhibition

This is a virtual rendition of artist Yong Joo Kim’s 2021 Solo Exhibition with the same title.

Yong Joo Kim explores both the nature of art and the meaning of survival.
For her, predictability means the absence of novelty, and the absence of novelty in her practice translates to feelings of pressure on her survival as an artist. She also feels responsible to live up to the choice she has made to become an artist. Therefore, she feels the weight on her shoulders to create new work that continually signals her survival as an artist. 
To abstract the pressure and weight she feels, she does not predetermine the forms she wants to express or represent. Instead, she creates unpredictable works of art by applying pressure to her materials or by making them feel the weight of gravity. 
Just as the mountains and valleys are the residues of nature under pressure and weight, Kim's work are residues of her efforts to sustain life under pressure and weight.

About the Original 2021 Exhibition

Written by Yong Joo Kim

What does it mean to survive?

For me, making art is a way of exploring such a simple yet complex question.

There are times when I get stuck while making art. On such occasions, my progress stalls and I feel the burden of responsibility weigh me down, as I remind myself of the looming exhibition deadline as well as the implicit promise of excellence I’ve made to the host and sponsor of the exhibition, not to mention the amorphous group of people I imagine as my “audience.”

Sometimes, I even feel my identity threatened as I ruminate on the possibility of having finally reached the limits of my creativity and start to doubt the sustainability of my career as an artist.

In this exhibition, I wish to share with you a series of artwork that came about when I attempted to sublimate such pressure and weight as a method of work instead of mere feelings.

To create the work showcased in this exhibition, I cut out pieces of hook-and-loop fasteners, then grew them in scale by attaching them together as if to make fabric. I then evolved my work in unpredictable ways by constraining myself to two primary methods of creation: the application of pressure on the work using my hands and the application of weight on the work by hanging them on the wall and rotating them around.

Given the absence of a desired final form and a lack of experience with such a new method of creation, especially with such large-scale fabric, the creative process felt helplessly uncertain. It felt as if I were performing CPR to a piece of dying artwork desperately hoping for a sign of life. However, what I’ve learned from practicing this new approach is that pressure and weight, which previously felt merely threatening, could also breathe new life and energy into the creative process when sublimated as a method of work.

To me, making art is less a means of expression and more a residue of my efforts to sustain my life under pressure and weight. It is no different than how the mountains and valleys are residues of nature under pressure and weight. I hope that the motivation and strength that fuels the movements required to sustain my life as an artist can also function as a source of energy not only for other artists, but audiences in general. Especially in times like now, when everyone around the world is doing their best to make progress in their situation despite the burdensome weight of responsibility and social pressure.

About the Artist

Since 2009, Yong Joo Kim has dedicated her practice, crossing the genre of both installation art and wearable sculpture, to explore a seemingly simple yet complex question: “What does it mean to survive under pressure and weight?”

Known around the art world for her pioneering use of hook-and-loop fasteners, Yong Joo Kim started her career creating jewelry out of hook-and-loop fasteners. There were two reasons why she chose hook-and-loop fasteners. The first was to survive as an artist by lowering the weight of financial responsibility associated with material and fabrication costs. The second was to challenge her ability to survive in a marketplace known for pressuring artists to use nothing but precious stones and metals.

Yong Joo Kim’s most recent body of work is comprised of wall installations produced by applying pressure and weight to wall-mounted hook-and-loop fasteners. This body of work signals her intention to sublimate the pressure and weight she feels from mere emotion into a visible method of fabrication.

Her work appears in the permanent collection of Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), Los Angeles County Museum of Art(LACMA), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Art Bank (MMCA), Seoul Museum of Craft Art, Pureun Cultural Foundation, and Velcro Group.

She is a Society of Arts and Crafts (SAC) and NICHE award-winning artist with an extensive record of exhibitions across Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. She has been a featured speaker at premier conferences and exhibitions such as the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) and Sculpture Objects Functional Art and design (SOFA).

A native of Seoul, Korea, Yong Joo Kim received her MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the Rhode Island School of Design and her BFA in Arts and Crafts from SookMyung Women’s University. She lives and works in Seoul and Chicago.

Thanks to Velcro Companies for generously providing VELCRO® Brand Hook and Loop Fasteners to Artist Yong Joo Kim.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram