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Interview with Kim Ji Young

Inizio evento 21.09.2017 | Fine evento 29.09.2027

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Interview with Kim Ji Young

- Congratulations on winning the Amber Trip art jewellery contest! What does it mean to you?
First I would like to express my gratitude to the judges and organizers. My win took me by surprise. While a lot of other contests look at an artist’s resume and experience foremost while judging, I was grateful that the Amber Trip Contest judges placed the most value on the actual piece itself.
Amber has had a long tradition of being used in Korea and has been loved by our people since time immemorial. However, the downside of that is it is harder to make progress on the development of amber jewelry because of certain expectations placed by tradition and customs. If my artwork can help people look at amber in a new light, it would mean I made the right choice in transitioning from writer to jewelry designer, and that thought motivates me to work harder as an artist. I think amber will continue to inspire my work.
- How did you become a jewellery designer? What/who pushed you to pursue this path?
I have been a writer for a broadcasting company for more than 20 years. I have not always been able to write what I wanted, so I’ve been yearning to express all my thoughts freely. I started studying design when I entered graduate school with my husband, who does metal craft. What I like about jewelry as a medium is that despite being small in size, it has the potential to give great joy and touch the hearts of many people. It also has the innate power to tell an endless number of stories.
I think what helped motivate me the most as a jewelry designer is the passion inside of me that I have not been able to express previously. The piece that won is an extension of the long line of work that I’ve created. I’m constantly thinking about things that can only be understood by looking closely, things that change, things that are defined differently depending on the perspective, and things that refuse to be standardized. I also place an emphasis on the importance of light. When I create, my husband contributes by giving me his scathing criticism and that drives me to be better.
- Where did you study jewellery design?
I don’t know why, but I’ve been sketching women with windblown hair and jewelry since I was young, and I’ve been creating my own pieces since I’ve had my ears pierced. I started studying earnestly in jewelry academies in Korea and the US, as well as at the Kookmin University Graduate School of Design.
- How do you think European and Asian art jewellery differ from each other?
Hmm… Well, even within European and Asian countries, the style tends to differ in each in individual country. And in this era of globalization, I think jewelry tends to be shaped by individual art style more than the trends of one’s home country. So it’s a difficult question to answer, but if I must make a distinction, I feel European art jewelry contains a lot of wit and I feel in its core is the pursuit of freedom of form. On the other hand, Asian art jewelry puts great effort into its shapes, and is refined and serious, as if it is trying to improve itself from the inside. Of course, this is simply my own opinion.
- Where do you take inspiration for your designs?
As I used to be a writer, I have the habit of trying to express things in writing first. So when I’m creating jewelry, I am interested in expressing things you can’t see, like emotions, or the type of things you can’t express exactly in words. Thus, I tend to be contemplative and deliberate when I’m creating art. Nature and the objects that surround me do inspire me, but I put a lot of effort in trying to dwell on and expressing topics like relationships with people, encounters, emotions and other intangible things, and things you have to look closely to be able to see. And I’m always listening to music. My artwork can be seen but also heard. They each have their own sound.
- With what materials do you like to work the most?
I’ve worked with silver a lot. Silver can be shaped to be both soft and powerful, much like a versatile woman who can transform herself. I also think transparent and artificial materials like acrylics, resin, and silicon are also appealing. I think it’s interesting to transform seemingly worthless materials by allowing them to shine or reflect, or combining them with nature so they absorb light and transform as if they are part of nature. I was happy that my work combining amber and silicon received a good review from 2016 AMBERIF Honorary mention and I think I am certain these materials I want to use will touch and continue to more well known.

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