|▲ Artist Kim Hyang-mi|
“Kim is an artist who knows very well about polysemous meaning of border. She knows that it is not the drawing a line for discernment, sharing and difference of such and such. She enjoys crossing the border without breaking it or rather enjoys it is not the border at all. She knows decorum, and also embraces and recognizes. Accordingly, the border for her has not been the border but she stands on the border between Providence and material world, art and daily work, purity and application, extravagance and being contented, and special and ordinary. So I’m looking forward her next move and direction.” – poet Han Bo-gyeong –
Vision of Happiness
Leo Tolstoy said “Art is deliverance of emotion experienced by the artist.” Artist Kim Hyang-mi is second to none when it comes to sharing her experience. She debuted as an artist with her exhibition <Little Is Beautiful> in February 1996. Under the single theme ‘Vision of Happiness’, she has tried breaking the border between us and others by using pure emotions and symbolic ornamental patterns, and expressed homogeneity of human beings. She once lived in Shreveport, Louisiana, US for 2 years and held <Vision of Happiness> that delivered her message of “we are the one as world citizens”, depicted through her quilt works.
Shreveport Times reporter Joanne Harris wrote that she arranged various objects like mosaic, combined oriental textile art with American high tech, each object building a single huge object with extended meaning, colors were mostly clear, bright and sometimes strong in balance, and pastel tone seems to represent maturity while primary color seems to represent an aspect of Korean culture of the time.
Kim’s modes of content development by using 1,000 individual pieces are well known as to overwhelm the appreciators which she calls ‘quilt metaphor’.
Back homeland, Kim has pushed herself into a variety of activities under the tiles as follows: <One and Each Other> for breaking the border, <Life and Art: Encounter of Yesterday and Today> for symbolic depiction of Korean purity, <Hand-Thrown Emotion of Us> for feminine sensitivity and ease, <Heart Flows and Scenery Stops> for reinterpretation of folk painting, <Tree of Life> for convergence of language and culture, and <Silk Road> for homogeneity of human beings. All of these activities of her artistic vigor have one thing in common: happiness, and its sharing.
Art Projects for Social Contribution
Her artistic vigor is as well presented in art projects coordinated with Busan Metropolitan City as in exhibitions. Some of them worth mentioning are: <Blue Ocean Busan Bada> for city’s souvenirs, <Wild Flower Class> for ordinary citizens, <10 Day 10 Drawings> for handmade pocket books, and <Vintage Doll Room>/<Artist and Sewing>/<MAKE-Me Art programe> for promoting village enterprises. Currently, she is engaged in social contribution projects of the city such as BOBB cups, Nakdong River ecology rainbow characters, and orangebada souvenir shop.
Also known as an art programmer, Kim said “I think art in a way is a healing. And this is the reason I proactively engage in social activities and contributions. The power of culture is enormous and I have this passion in free sharing of things which in part I also engage in social enterprise projects.”
Poet Han Bo-gyeong said “Kim will keep creating new borders at some appropriate points over border to border, as she always did, in calm yet enthusiastic challenges. So I also keep expecting to see her limitless expansion on balanced virtues residing around these borders.”
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