Friday, January 14, 2011

Olivia Kim: Where her HeArt is.

Olivia and I have nurtured our friendship since we met at the Florence Academy of Art (FAA) in 2004 (siesta moments along the Arno River!).  She has one very beautiful yet complicated mind...and this is what I most admire about her, thus inspiring me to share her masterpieces accompanied by her deep-seated feelings, emotions and fears with you. 

Celestial Music
28 1/4" x 19 3/4" x 16 1/2"
Painted plaster

11 3/4" x 6" x 8 1/4"

On your struggles + fears as an artist:
I'm sure this is a clichè, but dealing with myself is the biggest struggle. Art reflects directly what is inside of you. You can't make anything without revealing how you perceive yourself and the world. If you carry fears inside, you see every single one of them come out. So you have to be brave enough to know yourself and work beyond your fears. I've recently realized that my greatest fear was not knowing where my life, much less art, came from.

6 1/2" x 4" x 14" inc. base
Bronze on iron base

On Constellation:  
I feel that we are linked to all things, even space. I remember reading that the elements which compose the starry heavens are on this planet, and are even part of our physical make-up. I used to wonder about what is out there, and what it's like on other planets. I thought it would be fun to defy gravity with a study of a man jumping, but launching himself backwards.

Out of the Abyss
27 1/2" x 27 1/2" x 21 1/2"
Aluminum on stainless steel wall mount

On Out of the Abyss:
Out of the Abyss is pretty important to me. It was my first attempt to really move out of Academy-style studies. I used to be a slave to models and it was so important to be able to render the person exactly the way they were. The only thing is that the models were almost always uncomfortable because they had to pose still. I found that you have to sculpt them moving in order to capture what is truly fresh and living about them. I spent about 3 years between various commission works to study anatomy and the model’s quality of movement to be able to finally finish the sculpture. The time I had finished it coincided with one of the most difficult periods for me as an artist. It was when I finally realized the answer to my great fear as an artist and person.. Where does art and my life come from?

32" x 13 1/2" x 9 1/2"

Why the varying styles? What goes on in your head? 
In general, I like to leave spaces between the modelled pieces because it's like the space within and between our atoms.. I think it's important to remember that there is much of our make-up that is not defineable. The varying styles in my work come from changes in my working method. As for the more recent work that is sculpted from moving models, I am keeping my work sketchier to explore the rhythmic quality in material application. Movement inspires different kinds of touch, densities, rhythms. I am doing different kinds of studies to inform my work. Yoga and Chi-lel (Chinese form of movement somewhat similar to Chi-gong) and physical training...I find that the body has to understand the movement in order to sculpt it. I tried to understand intellectually but to no avail. The mind cannot understand body consciousness.

7 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 5"
Bronze and gold leaf on green marble and wenge wood base

And what about your "emotional moments" while sculpting? 
This was quite an incisive question for me.. I find that emotions are meant to be felt and lived out. When I'm emotional I can't work because I'm living out my emotions. Most of the time I get emotional before working on something. It's like a violin string getting tuned to the highest note it can take, but then when it's been played, the tension breaks loose and I get into a different kind of groove..a working groove that's very different from emotional episodes. I can get emotional when I try to anticipate and I get fearful. If I get blocked up in the fear, I have to stop working and feel out my emotions til I've processed what it is that is stopping me.
Artista nello studio

Does your creativity get affected depending on where you you find more inspiration when you're in the rolling hills of Tuscany vs. working at home in Rochester?
Another incisive question! Contrary to previous belief, the place is a factor, but essentially the inspiration comes from inside of me. I've fought with that question for so long! I recently found out that a table with some tools in the basement are more than enough! You can find beauty in anything, anywhere.

Olivia Kim Sculpture & Painting Studio
The Hungerford Building 335
1115 E. Main Street
Rochester, NY 14609
T:  +1 585 355 0706  
F:  +1 585 328 4078

Olivia Kim  //  FAA   

1 comment:

Aijung Kim said...

yay! loved reading this article and seeing olivia's work shown so beautifully. i am the proud sister of this artist!