The latest artist I happen to interview is a great Korean painter who’s searching inside her painting skills to make 3D installations.
Jaehee Kim comes from Seul at Brera’s Academy in order to experience new forms of art and reshaping her creativity by studying in Europe.
“I came here to study mosaic, but when I found out that Italian art schools keep separated different techniques such as painting or sculpture, I moved to Brera for a decoration course which tents to teach students diverse styles” She explains.
What I find gripping is the evolution of her art works from when she would live in Seoul until now, since she arrived in Italy three years ago.
“In Korea I attended painting in undergraduate and then in a Master of Art (at EWHA Womans University in 2005). But I moved to Italy because I could not stay in Seoul any longer. Coming to Italy my life has changed so much, and so is my art”.
For Jaehee the cultural gap between Korea and Italy could be seen as a cultural clash indeed.
When Jaehee shows me her paintings made in Korea, I notice how bright colors and diverse shapes play the role of main subjects.
The choice of the colors clearly transmits her mood and feelings while she was painting at that time. “As soon as I finished school and got my Master degree, the pressure put on my shoulders was unbearable. I could not paint for myself, but I was force to do it for business” Then she adds: ”I had to leave my hometown, and now, away from that pressure, I feel I can love again what I do and what I am”.
Jaehee is attending decoration course at Brera’s Academy.
“Decoration has nothing to do with painting, I know, but Brera is giving me the opportunity to work with many different materials professors and learning a wide range of techniques”.
Jaehee is taking a break from the flat world of paintings to experience the complex reality of an tridimensional installation where anyone can walk through.
“Nowaday an artist must experience different types of art. You must be able to paint, to sculpt, to project complex installations”.
The main art work accomplished by Jaehee is “Uncomfortable House” (Seoul 2010). This installation is the result of a study of her life between Korea and Italy, where daily life furniture and the cold and sharp steel of a numbers of needles creates the unreal feeling of discomfort.
The softness of our pair of slippers is pierced by thousands of needles coming up throught the soles. Then, our beloved feather’s stuffed pillow, is full of dangerous shining nails.
Imagine yourself walking in your cosy living room, but, as soon as you realized the presence of needles everywhere, you come out in goosebumps!
“The idea of this installation came to my mind while I was in Korea. I could not stay at home anymore, even if I was in my bed I could not sleep at all! I always felt the piercing sensation of discomfort. I can express my pain through this: and everyone can understand how I feel by looking at it”. It’s very true.
This art work differs a lot from her paintings: from colors on flat canvas, to a black and white’s 3D installation.
“I don’t know if this type of art is helping me coping with the pain, but I want to see how it goes on”.
Come what may, I wish Jaehee will be able to find her balance soon, and discover the warmth of the colors once again.